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of similar lAerest 


as interpreted by Sri Aurobmdo 
edited by Adilbaran Roy 

This commentary summarizes the substance of Sri 
Aurobindo’s famous book Essays on the CrJ/J, of which 
the Calcutta Statesman said: '*It carries to a new 
perfection the difficult task of expounding Hindu 
thought to the West.” 


The Song of the Supreme 
Exalted One 




author of “ The Idea of The Holy,” etc., etc. 



M.A., PH.D. 


Reader tn Thtlosophy tn the 
Unmersity of Lfverpool, 
Assistant Editor of the 
*^Library of Rhtlosophy” 
author of * ‘ The Nature of 
Deity,” Essentials tn the 
Development of Religion,” 



George Allen and Unwin Ltd 


were published m Stuttgart 
in 1933, 1934 and 1935 



m ii-Phint Old Style Type 





In India, to a very great extent, The Bhagavad-glta occupies 
the exalted position that The New Testament, and especially 
The Gospel of St John, holds in the religions world of the 
West. It is proclaimed by Krishna, the incarnate Form of 
the Only and Eternal God of the Universe, Whose names 
are Vasndeva, Narayana, Vishnu and Hari; and its full 
Title runs thus : — Snmad-hhagavad-gUd-upanishadas, the last 
three terms meaning: "The teaching given by Bhagavat 
in song and recitation"’, while Srtmad may be taken as 
equivalent to "‘sublime” or “exalted”, and associated with 
either hhagavad or gitd-npamshadas. Thus the Book is 
called either “The teaching given in song by the Supreme 
Exalted One”, or “The sublime teaching given by the 
Supreme”. Of these the first is the more probable, since 
in the Book itself Krishna is constantly referred to as Bn- 
bhagavat — ^The Supreme Exalted One; the term bhagavat 
generally denoting either some venerable religious personage 
or God Himself. In this instance, however, it indicates both : 
— Krishna as the Incarnation of God, and the Very God 
Who is incarnate in him. 

In India again, and also by Western commentators, the 
Work is regarded principally as the fundamental doctrinal 
Text of Hindu '‘Bhakh religion”. This, in the first place; is 
the religious attitude which in trust, faith and love turns 
to the Personal God Who is the Redeemer from the evil of 
samsdra — of a wandering existence or migration in the 
Universe, but iij its modern form it combines, together with 
the theology that originates from the spiritual attitude 
just referred to, doctrines selected from the expanding 
systems of Sdnkhya and Yoga^-, fromJ:he ancient moralistic 
doctrine of the three gunas or “constituents oi Nature”, 
^ cf further pp. iijff., 162 jf, 204 ff , 



from the theology of the old Vedic sacrificial cult and, 
finally, from Vedantic speculation and soteriological teaching 
about the transcendent, super-personal Brahman which 
arise from this cult. 

The present-day guise of The Bhagavad-gitd, however, is 
not its original version; and I trust that I have succeeded 
. in proving, in Chapter IV, that it is actually based upon a 
1 primitive Text — The Original Gita — ^which itself was in no 
I sense whatever specifically doctrinal writ, and therefore no 
VUpanishad” , but simply a fragment of most magnificent 
epic narrative. The Book is, in fact, embedded in the vast 
ancient Epic, The Mahdbhdrata^ which has itself undergone 
the most diverse transformations, interpolations and perhaps 
even occasional abbreviations' it recounts the great and 
horrible fratricidal battle between the Kauravas and the 
Pandavas. Krishna, who is on the side of the latter, once 
again visits the Kauravas in order to treat for peace; the 
aged King Dhritarashtra (The Strong Ruler), himself desires 
this, but their leader, his son Duryodhana (The Unconquer- 
able), frustrates his efforts and wishes to take Krishna 
prisoner: who thereupon, since he is himself the Supreme 
God in human form, reveals His divine Power in order to 
terrify Duryodhana. Compelled to allow him to escape, 
they nevertheless persist in war; and the hosts, drawn up for 
battle, confront each other. But now Duryodhana is 
assailed by anxious forebodings as to the issue of the strife; 
the contest, nonetheless, is about to begin. 

Between the two armies, thus arrayed, rides the Pandavas’ 
foremost champion, Arjuna, mustering the ranks and 
.accompanied by Krishna as the driver of Ijis chariot; and 
as the strong and valiant hero gazes at the peoples 'opposing 
each other, brothers as they are, the noblest horror of the 
dreadful fratricidal fury that is about to begin seizes him; 
he too becomes weak and dejected, certainly not by any 
1 Book VI, BMshmaparvan, Section 6. 



misgivings about the result of the struggle, but rather by 
being compelled to annihilate ''those who are my own 
people''.^ Serious doubt and heavy gnef oppress him, 
because he must slay those whom he himself reveres and to 
whom he is greatly indebted, and because by this strife he 
will plunge into grievous confusion the most sacred laws 
of kindred and family. 

From this mood of despair Krishna intervenes to release 
him; and thus TheSamvdda begins — ^the dialogue in which 
Krishna consoles Arjuna with old mysterious sayings about 
the indestructibility of those whom Arjuna believes he can 
and must destroy; He appeals, too, to his martial honour. 
All this, however, is not the most important feature; for 
finally Krishna does much more. First of all, by instruction, 
He declares to Arjuna His "'supreme utterance'',^ and 
reveals to him that what is now happening is not the w^ork 
of man and proceeds not from the human will, but is the 
Deed and Will of the Eternal God of Destiny Himself, Who 
decides and ordains all things, and Whom Arjuna must 
obey as His "tooF'.^ 

Just as, a short time before. He had shown Himself to 
Duryodhana in His divine might, in order to disarm the 
miscreant who contemplated treachery against Him, so 
now in a stupendous SelFrevelation of His divine Power He 
manifests Himself to Arjuna to lead him to obey the supreme 
divine decree, showing him the true meaning of the occur- 
rence of the battle. It is not his affair to decide here ; he 
must be nothing whatever except the instrument of the 
Omnipotent One Who thus fulfils His own purpose ; and so 
He subdues Arj^na's resistance and induces him to acknow- 
ledge his^eadiness to obey.^ 

1 TheGUa, I, 31. ^ X, i. 

^ XI, 33: *'Be thou nought but My tool." 

^ These subtle parallels and contrasts of<^ubhme epic construction 
cannot and must not be ignored. Exactly as Duryodhana is the 
victim of anxiety, so too is Arjuna; similarly, a Theophany is. per- 



from the theology of the old Vedic sacrificial cult and, 
finally, from Vedantic speculation and soteriological teaching 
about the transcendent, super-personal Brahman which 
arise from this cult. 

The present-day guise of The Bhagavad-gUd, however, is 
not its original version; and I trust that I have succeeded 
i in proving, in Chapter IV, that it is actually based upon a 
.primitive Text — The Original Gitd — ^which itself was in no 
|sense whatever specifically doctrinal writ, and therefore no 
V'Upanishad” , but simply a fragment of most magnificent 
epic narrative. The Book is, in fact, embedded in the vast 
ancient Epic, The Mahdbhdrata,^ which has itself undergone 
the most diverse transformations, interpolations and perhaps 
even occasional abbreviations: it recounts the great and 
horrible fratricidal battle between the Kauravas and the 
Pandavas. Krishna, who is on the side of the latter, once 
again visits the Kauravas in order to treat for peace; the 
aged King Dhritarashtra (The Strong Ruler), himself desires 
this, but their leader, his son Duryodhana (The Unconquer- 
able), frustrates his efforts and wishes to take Krishna 
prisoner: who thereupon, since he is himself the Supreme 
God in human form, reveals His divine Power in order to 
terrify Duryodhana. Compelled to allow him to escape, 
they nevertheless persist in war; and the hosts, drawn up for 
battle, confront each other. But now Duryodhana is 
assailed by anxious forebodings as to the issue of the strife; 
the contest, nonetheless, is about to begin. 

Between the two armies, thus arrayed, rides the Pandavas’ 
foremost champion, Arjuna, mustering the ranks and 
.accompanied by Krishna as the driver of Ijis chariot; and 
as the strong and valiant hero gazes at the peoples 'opposing 
each other, brothers as they are, the noblest horror of the 
dreadful fratricidal fury that is about to begin seizes him; 
he too becomes weak and dejected, certainly not by any 
^ Book VI, Bhtshmaparvan, Section 6. 



misgivings about the result of the struggle, but rather by 
being compelled to annihilate “those who are my own 
people”.^ Serious doubt and heavy grief oppress him, 
because he must slay those whom he himself reveres and to 
whom he is greatly indebted, and because by this strife he 
will plunge into grievous confusion the most sacred laws 
of kindred and family. 

From this mood of despair Knshna intervenes to release 
him; and thus TheSamvdda begins — ^the dialogue in which 
Krishna consoles Arjuna with old mysterious sayings about 
the tndestructibiHty of those whom Arjuna beheves he can 
and must destroy; He appeals, too, to his martial honour. 
All this, however, is not the most important feature; for 
finally Krishna does much more. First of all, by instruction. 
He declares to Arjuna His “supreme utterance”,^ and 
reveals to him that what is now happening is not the work 
of man and proceeds not from the human will, but is the 
Deed and Will of the Eternal God of Destiny Himself, Who 
decides and ordains all things, and Whom Arjuna must 
obey as His “tool’’.® 

Just as, a short tune before. He had shown Himself to 
Duryodhana in His divine might, in order to disarm the 
miscreant who contemplated treachery against Him, so 
now in a stupendous Self-revelation of His divine Power He 
manifests Himself to Arjuna to lead him to obey the supreme 
divine decree, showing him the true meaning of the occur- 
rence of the battle. It is not his affair to decide here; he 
must be nothing whatever except the instrument of the 
Omnipotent One Who thus fulfils His own purpose ; and so 
He subdues Arjjina’s resistance and induces him to acknow- 
ledge hishreadiness to obey.* 

1 The Gita, I, 31. ^ X, i 

® XI, 33: “Be thou nought but My tool.” 

‘ These subtle parallels and contrasts of«sublime epic construction 
cannot and must not be ignored. Exactly as Duryodhana is the 
victim of anxiety, so too is Arjuna; sumlarly, a Theophany is. per- 



This portion of the narrative, then, is the very climax 
of the whole Epic, revealing as it does the guise assumed by 
the ancient traditional material of an earlier mighty fratri- 
cidal struggle to the mind of a profound poet who gave it 
its later form, while at the same moment it witnesses to the 
sublimity and depth attained by the idea of God in certain 
circles in ancient India. Essentially, nevertheless, the 
Krishna-Arjuna-Samvdda, as it may most suitably be styled, 
was in no sense whatever a manual of instruction, but purely 
and entirely a splendid epic fragment; not the doctrinal 
literature of any system nor, again, a catechism attached 
to any creed, and least of all of S5mcretistic Hinduism in 
general. It was, then, into this old and primitive fragment 
of the Epic itself, as the matrix, that "'doctrinal writ"' 
subsequently became inserted, with the view of securing 
for it the authority of Krishna's divine Form, and in 
Chapters V, VI, I have segregated these doctrinal Treatises, 
individually, from the primitive Text of The Original Glia, 
and at the same time advanced my reasons for their selec- 
tion, together with th^ specific characterization of each of 
these doctrinal Sections. These two Chapters, therefore, 
discuss the so-called "Introductory Problems" of The GUd 
of to-day, in such a way as to free the Translation ot The 
GUd itself, so far as is possible, from all extraneous matter; 
this seemed to me the best method to adopt. 

•With the historical aspects of the religious development 
of the great idea of God subsisting behind "I^vara", the 
"Lord", of The GUd I have already dealt elsewhere;^ 
with Bhakti religion, too, in India's Religion of Grace and 

cerved by them both. The former is deeply concerfied about the issue 
of the contest, the latter about the violation of the sacred laws of 
piety. Duryodhana’s cunning is unmasked by the Theophany, 
while Arjuna is accepted as a tool for the exalted deeds of God, 
although he is at the samie time humbled because of his ' ‘wilfulness”. 

1 “Narayana, seme Herkunft und seine Synonyme”; Zezischnft 
fur Mtssionskunde und Rehgionswzssenschaft, lo, 1934. 



Christianity Compared and Contrasted y together with the 
Introductions to my translations of the documents of this 
religion appended to that volume.^ 

The course followed by the interpretation of The GUd 
and its associated controversies, together with a detailed 
discussion of earlier translations, is traced in The Bhagavad- 
gildy by W. Douglas P. Hill, which also includes the Sanskrit 
Text and a very carefully annotated version, while an 
Index of all Works referring to The GUd appears in Etienne 
Lamotte's Notes sur la Bhagavad-gUd,^ which also includes 
an outline of Le Milieu d'eclosion de la Bhagavad-gUd 
and a discussion of its Doctrtnes spdculahves, in connection 
with an extremely pertinent investigation of the terminology. 
Both Hill and Lamotte regard it as possible to maintain the 
unity of The GUd\ I cannot myself accept this view, how- 
ever, and should on the contrary prefer, as his grateful 
pupil, to carry still farther Richaxd^arbe.'s magmficentand 
thoughtful analytical survey; his Work, Die Bhagavad-gUdy^ 
andhis'exposilTons of Bkd^a mta r eligion, will always consti- 
tute a classic in research into Indian religions, ^especially 
so far as The GUd is„cpnceriied. With Garbe's selection of 
later interpolations, due to exponents of ancient Vedic 
sacrificial theology and speculation about Brahmany I agree 
in the majority of cases; I differ from him, however, as I 
have indicated in Chapter IV, on the following points: — 

(j). The GUdy in its entirety, was not dovetailed into the 
Epic at some late period; rather was The Original GUd a 
genuine constituent of this Epic when it became “Krish- 
naized”. This Original GUdy once again, is no construction 
by some theolggian, nor is it doctrinal literature, but is 
essentially the masterpiece of an indisputably great epic 
poet, of the genius, in fact, who could imagine so splendid 
a figure as that of Kama. More especially is the magnificent 

Appendices, pp. iii ^ Paris, 1929; pp. 138-144. 

® Ixipzig, 1905 and 1921. 




Theophany of Chapter XI the creation of an epic poet. It 
is, in fact, a quite obvious parallel to the Theophany in 
which Krishna has already revealed Himself to Duryodhana, 
except that it presents more forcible aspects and has a 
quite different aim. 

The Original Gita then, to repeat, is no doctrinal Text, no 
doctrinal writ of Bhakti rehgion, but rather Krishna’s own 
voice and deed, referring directly to the situation in which 
Arjuna finds himself; intended, however, not to proclaim 
to him any transcendent dogma of salvation, but to render 
him willing to undertake the special service of the Almighty 
Will of the God Who decides the fate of battles. 

’ (2). The remainder of the material, which must be dis- 

crimmated from The Original Gita, consists of individual 
“Doctrinal Treatises’’, to some degree of a highly specific 
and peculiar type, which I have discussed in fuller detail 
in Chapters V, VI. 

{3). Isolated expressions, derived from Brahman termi- 
nology, do not of themselves substantiate later interpola- 
tion, since terms such as Brahma-Nirvana or Brahrm-bhava 
had for long been somewhat loose general equivalents for 
a transcendent enjoyment of salvation. 

{4). The Great Personal God of Bhakti is also a Universal 
God, Who Himself “is’’ the Universe, which He includes 
within His own Being.^ 

(5). The chronology of The Original Gita depends on that 
of the “Krishnaized” Epic, but is independent of the 
chronology of the interpolated Doctrinal Treatises. The 
Third Century B.c., therefore, is perhaps too low a limit 
for The Original Gita itself, while the insertion of the 
individual Treatises may have been effected vefy much 
later, and was presumably a rather prolonged process. 

With regard to the Glosses marked by Vedic and Vedantic 
tendencies, again, I may suggest one further consideration 

1 cf. p. 295. 



to those already advanced by Garbe. For it is evident that 
they pursue the path of the later, and avowedly Brahmanic, 
AnugUd; Krishna, indeed, subsequently relates this to 
Arjuna because Arjuna has ostensibly forgotten The Gltd 
itself! and its obvious trend is^to outbid The GUd, if not to 
replace it altogether, by ''Brahmanizing'' it; The AnugUd, 
therefore, proves that such tendencies undoubtedly existed. 
In that case the Gl osses^of The Gltd are themselves in accord 
with an unmistakable propensity to '‘Brahmanize’'. It 
will therefore be no error to assume that they constituted 
the initial attempts to immunize The Gttd, in the sense of 
the same ''Brahmanizing*' direction which afterwards 
operated still more thoroughly and radically in The AnugUd, 

With the specific tendencies characterizing BhakU 
theology I have dealt in Chapter V, and with the yet more 
important features of The GUd — Yoga and the yogins — 
in Chapter III. 

My own version of The Original GUd, omitting all that I 
regard as interpolated material, appears as Chapter I, while 
Chapter II includes this, together with the interpolations, so 
as to present The Song in its entirety. In the first of these 
two Chapters, therefore, the following Sections appear 
consecutively, with no interruptions, so that they can be 
read in this order, should this be preferred : — 

The GUd, 1 : II, 1-13 ; 20; 22; 29-37: X, 1-8: XI, 1-6; 
8-12; 14; 17; 19-36; 41-51: XVIII, 58-61; 66; 72; 73; 
while in the entire GUd these Sections appear in heavy type. 

Chapters IV-VI then present my analysis of the whole 
GUd of to-day into its individual components, together with 
the justification for this discrimination, as well as for the 
distinctive* characteristics of each doctrinal Section, and the 
various spiritual tendencies expressed in The Original GUd, 
the Treatises and the Glosses. 

I contemplate with deep reverencS, in conclusion, the 
great unknown Hindu who could visualize such a magnificent 



Drama as is related in his Eleventh Chapter, and who 
succeeded in giving this its present form. 

I dedicate the Volume, in gratitude, to Richard Garbe's 
memory. It is now thirty years since he honoured the 
beginner into research into Religion. I wish to dedicate it, 
therefore, to him as the scholar who laid down the imperish- 
able foundation for the true historical comprehension of 
The GUd. 


Marburg, igjs 


In translating Dr. Otto's rendering of The Bhagavad-GUd 
I have followed, so far as it has been possible, Dr. E. J. 
Thomas's well-known version, The Song of the Lord; and for 
permission to do this I am deeply indebted to Dr. Thomas 
himself, and to the Publisher, Mr. John Murray; to the 
former, also, for his valuable assistance in dealing with 
Sanskrit terms. 

There are, at the same time, frequent important variations 
from Dr. Thomas's own Text, although it has not been 
possible to indicate these in detail. The square brackets, 
again, include elucidatory terms from The Song of the Lord] 
and I trust that this device has not affected the reading of 
the great Epic, strictly as such. 

A second important feature is that the Text of the original 
Epic, as distinct from all subsequent interpolations of 
various kinds, or of Die Urgltd, to use Dr. Otto's own Title, 
appears in bold type, while the interpolations themselves 
are in ordinary type. Dr. Otto's transliteration of the 
Sanskrit terms has also been retained. 

As on previous occasions, my thanks are due to my 
wife for dealing with various important details, and for 
reading the proofs ; and finally, to the Publishers for their 
close interest in the production of the work. 

A Note on Prommciation may be useful: k being pro- 
nounced as sh, c as tsh and j as dsh. 


The. Ongmal GUd 




Author’s Preface 


Translator’s Note 


































(Omitting all interpolations). 


1 Dhritardshtra: 

Assembled on the sacred field, the Kura field, eager for 
battle, what did my people and the Pandavas do, 0 Samjaya? 

2 Samjaya: 

Duryodhana, the King, saw the army of the Pandavas, 
drawn up in battle-Une. He approached his teacher (Drona) 
and spoke to him these words ; 

S “Behold, O .Teacher, this mighty host of the sons of 
Pandu, drawn up in batde array by lie son of Drapada, thy 
wise disciple. 4 There are heroes, great archers, equal in 
fight to Bhima and Arjuna, Yuyudhana, Virata and Drapada 
the great warrior charioteer, 5 Drishtraketu, Cekitana, and 
the valiant King of the Kasis; also Purujit, Kuntibhoja and 
the Prince of the ^ibis, the hero, 6 Yudhamanyu the brave 
and Uttamaujas the valiant, Saubhadra’s son and the sons of 
Draupadi, all great warrior charioteers. 

7 But know those that are the chief of our side, the leaders 
of my army. So that thou mayest know them, I will name 
them to thee: 8 Thyself (Drona), then Bhishma, Kama, 
Kripa, victorious in batde, Asvatthaman and Vikama and 
Somadatta'^s son, p and many other heroes, ready to renounce 
their lives for me. With divers kinds of weapons they are all 
skilled in fighting, 10 and yet this force^of ours, though led by 
the (well experienced) Blushma himself, is insufficient, while 
their force, led by BMma, is sufficient (for victory).” 



[I 11-23 

11 (Addressed to the bystanders): “So all ye therefore, 
arrayed in your respective ranks, heed my command that ye 
give Bhishma special protection.” 

12 (When Bhishma heard this), in order to give Duryodhana 
courage the glorious Kuru elder sounded the war cry, mighty 
as the lion’s roar, and blew his conch, 13 and straightway the 
conchs, the kettledrums, drums, tabors and the “cow-mouths” 
(of the other leaders) sounded deeply forth; there was a wild 
uproar. 14 And straightway too, (from the Pandavas’ ranks) 
Madhava (Elrishna) and the son of Pandu (Arjuna), standing 
side by side in their mighty war chariot yoked with white steeds, 
blew their magnificent conchs. 13 Hrishikesa (Krishna) 
blew his Pancajanya, the treasure gainer (Arjuna) his Deva- 
datta horn, Vrikodara of terrible deeds the mighty hom 
Paundra. 16 The King himself, Yudhishthira, son of Kunti, 
blew Anantavijaya, Nakula and Sahadeva, (his brothers), 
Sughosha and Mardpushpaka, ij and likewise, far around, 
the Prince of the Kasis, finest of archers, .and Sikandhin the 
warrior charioteer, Dhrishtadyumna and Virata, SatyakL the 
unconquered, 18 Drupada and the sons of Draupadi and the 
son of Saubhadra, the mighty armed, severally blew their 
conchs. Ip So wild was the uproar that, resounding through 
Heaven and Earth, it rent the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra. 

20 And even as the arrows began to fly (Arjima) the son of 
Pandu, whose crest was an ape, seized his bow, gazed (contem- 
platively) at the sons of Dhritarashtra 21 and then spoke 
to Hrishikesa; 


Here, between the two armies, stay my chariot, O Acyuta, 

22 so that I may behold them standing, eager for the fray. 
What kind of men shall I have to face in this hard battle? 

23 I would ponder^ and examine who these warriors are, 
gathered here to please the evil minded Duryodhana. 

I. 24- jp] 



24 Samjaya: 

Hrishike^a, thus addressed by Gudakesa> straightway 
stayed the best of chariots between the two armies, 25 in 
the face of Bhishma, Drona and all the other princes (of the 
foe), and said: “Behold these assembled Kurus”. 26 And 
Partha saw standing there fathers and grandfathers, teachers, 
uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons and companions, 27 fathers- 
in-law and friends in both armies. Beholding all these kinsmen 
arrayed, 28 he was moved with deepest pity. Tremblingly 
he spoke: 


As I see these my own people, (on this side and on that), 
arrayed eager for battle, 29 my limbs fail. My mouth is 
parched. Trembling comes upon my body and my hair 
stands on end. 50 Gandiva slips from my hand, my skin 
bums aU over. Hardly can I stand, and my mind is in a 
whirl. 31 I see adverse signs, O Kesava, nor do I find any 
advantage if I slay those who are my, own people in battle. 
32 I wish not for victory, nor lordship nor pleasures (of 
conquest). For what is lordship to us? What are enjoy- 
ments or life itself? 33 They for whose sake we desire 
lordship, enjoyments and pleasures, stand here in batde, 
abandoning wealth and life : 34 teachers and fathers and sons 
and grandfathers, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law 
and other kinsfolk. 33 Them / wish not to slay, though slain 
myself— not for lordship over the three Worlds, much less for 
mere lordship over the Earth. 36 In la3dng low the sons of 
Dhritarashtra, what delight would be ours? Nought but sin 
would overtake us as archcriminals, were we to slay these. 

37 We dare not slay those who are our own kinsfolk. For if 
we slay our own kin, how should we ourselves ever be happy? 

38 Even if they, blinded by greed, see qp wrong in destroying 
kin, nor crime in betraying friends, 59 how should we, who 
see the wrong, not know how to turn away from that ‘sin 



[I. S9-U. 3 

(being endowed with insight)? 40 When kin are destroyed 
the ancient and sacred kin laws themselves perish. But when 
the law is destroyed, lawlessness overcomes the whole kin. 
41 Consequently the kinswomen are corrupted. But when 
the women are corrupted, straightway there arises confusion of 
caste. 42 But this must lead the destroyers of kin, and 
likewise the kin itself, to Hell, and the ancestors of the kin, 
because they are deprived of gifts to ancestorsj plunge down- 
wards (from the celestial pitri-lokd}). 43 Thus through these 
sins of the kin destroyers, that cause confusion of caste, both 
the primeval caste laws and the kin laws are ruined. 44 But 
the abode ordained for men who have no kin laws is ever in 
Hell, as the sacred precepts teach us. 43 Alas ! great sin we 
have resolved to commit, in that out of greed for the pleasures 
oflordship, we are prepared to slay our own people. 46 Rather 
may the sons of Dhritarashtra with weapons in hand slay me, 
unresisting and weaponless, in the battle (than that I should 
burden myself with such sin). 

4/ Samjaya: 

Thus, pending the battle, Arjuna spoke and dropped his 
bow and arrows and, his mind shaken with grief, sank down 
on the chariot seat. 


r To him, moved by pity, his eyes filled by tears and grief, 
despondent, Madhusudana spoke thus: 

2 The Supreme: ^ 

Whence in this strait has come upon thee this baseness, 
imseemly m the noble, excluding from Heaven, and causing 
disgrace, O Arjuna? 

3 Yield not to such unmanliness: that befits thee not. 

1 The world of the Fathers. 



Abandon such base weakness of heart. Stand up, O Oppressor 
of the enemy! 

4 Arjuna: 

How shall I fight in battle with arrows against Bhishma, 
against Drona, both of whom deserve all veneration from me? 

5 Much better is it to eat the common food of beggars here. 
So as to be free from sin against such worthy teachers! 
Even though they are filled with desire for gain — ^to slay 


Would besmear all pleasure as with blood. 

6 And who can say which is the more to be desired; 

For us to conquer them or for them to conquer us? 

For without them we ourselves should not wish to live. 
Even the sons of Dhritarashtra arrayed before us. 

7 Perplexity has evilly befallen me. 

My sense of right and wrong is confused. 

I ask Thee, tell me with certainty, which now would be 

I am Thy disciple. Teach me: to Thee I flee. 

8 Even if I should attain prosperous and secure lordship on 
Earth, or even sovereignty among the gods, 

I see not what would drive away the sorrow that dries up 
the power of my senses. 

9 Samjaya: 

Thus Gudakesa addressed Hrishikesa. “/ will not fight ” — 
said he once more to Govinda. Then he became silent. 

10 Then Krishna, with (a gracious) smile, spoke to the 
despondent onq,between the two armies these words. 

II The Supreme: 

Thou utterest wise things — and yet Aou sorrowest for whom 
thou shouldst not sorrow. Whether vitahty has vanished or 
not— for that the wise grieve not. i 2 Never at any time was 



[II. 12-35 

I not, nor thou, nor these lords of men. Nor shall any of us 
ever cease to be hereafter. 13 For as in this his actual body 
(one and the same) dweller therein passes successively through 
the conditions of childhood, manhood and age, (without losing 
his identity), even so is it with the acquisition of yet another 
body. The intelligent man is not confused (by the bodily 

20 It is bom not, nor does it ever die. 

Nor shall it, after having been brought into being, 
hereafter come not to be. 

Permanent, eternal, ancient, unborn. 

This dies not, even when the body perishes. 

22 As a man casts off old clothes. 

In order to put on, instead, other new ones. 

So the embodied one casts away the worn out bodies 
And puts on new garb. 

2p As marvellous one man looks upon it. 

Likewise as marvellous another speaks of it. 

And as marvellous another hears of it. 

But not one — even when he has heard of it — ^knows it. 

30 (Therefore), O Arjuna, this embodied one itself in the 
body of everyone is ever invulnerable. Therefore for no 
creature shouldst thou sorrow (believing that it can annihilate 

31 But equally little shouldst thou tremble, when thou 
seekest thy own duty. For there is nought better to a warrior 
than righteous war. 32 With joy warriors take up such a 
fight, offered freely to them (from no fault of their own), as 
the open door of Heaven. 33 Shouldst thou refuse to under- 
take this righteous warfare, then thou wilt casj away thy own 
duty (over which thou art sorrowing), and also thy good name, 
and fall into sin. 34. And (with justice) people will speak of 
thy undying dishonour. ^ And to an honourable man dishonour 
is worse than death. 33 The warrior charioteers will think 
that tiiou hast held back from battle through fear. Thou wilt 

II. 35-X. 5] 



fall into contempt, even among those who honoured thee; 
S6 while they that have ill will to thee will say things of thee 
that cannot be gainsaid, mocking thy warlike valour. What is 
there worse than that for a warrior? 57 Either thou wilt fall 
and attain Heaven, or thou wilt conquer and gain the Earth. 
Therefore arise, O son of Kunti, resolved on war. 


I The Supreme: 

Now hear further My supreme utterance; because thou art * 
dear to Me, I will proclaim it to thee for thy good. 

2 Neither the hosts of devas nor the great rishis^ know 
My source. (For) altogether more ancient than they am I. 

S He who knows Me as the unborn, the beginningless, the 
great Lord of the world, he among mortals, free from delusion, 
is released from all sins. 

4 From Me alone arise of bemgs the manifold states of 
mind: power of decision, judgment (buddhi), knowledge, purity 
of spirit, capacity to endure, true insight, discipline, serenity, 
pleasure and pain, well-being and distress, fear and reliance, 
5 compassion, equanimity, contentment, self-control, doing 
good, glory and infamy. 6 (Likewise the primeval beings), 
the seven great rishis and the four Manus,^ (arose only) from 
Me, generated by My Spirit; (and) from them descend these 
creatures in the world. 7 He who knows in truth this manifes- 
tation of My Might and My creative Power is armed with 
unshakable constancy. 

5 I am the source of all, from Me ever3Thing arises — 

Whoso has insight knows this. And vith this insight he 

worships Me, impressed by aw^. 

^ Gods and sages. 

2 Ancient sages. 



[XI. 1-14 


j Arjuna: 

Thou hast proclaimed, in. order to comfort me, the supreme 
secret of the true Self (and also its indestructibility). Through 
this Thy Word my bewilderment is gone from me, 2 for as it 
is appointed to beings to exist and to pass away, so verily has 
it been in my own experience. And likewise hast Thou 
taught me Thy imperishable Majesty. 

3 I desire to behold with my eyes this Thy Form as God, 
O Purmhottama,^ even as Thou Thyself hast (just) declared it, 
O Supreme Lord. 4 If, O Lord, Thou deemest that I am 
• able to behold it, then show me Thyself as the Imperishable, 
O Lord of wondrous Power. 

5 The Supreme: 

“Behold then, O Partha, My hundredfold and thousandfold 
Forms, manifold, divine, of many colours and shapes: 6 be- 
hold the Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, the two Alvins and the 
Maruts. Behold many marvels, such as were never seen 

8 But thy bodily eye is too feeble to behold Me thus; the 
divine eye I give thee. Behold Me thus in My wondrous 
Power as Lord.” 

9 As He thus spake, Hari, the great God of wondrous 
Power, allowed Partha to see His supreme Form as that of the 
Lord, i o with manifold mouths and eyes, in divers wondrous 
aspects, wearing many divine adornments, with many divine 
weapons upraised, ii in divine garlands and robes, anointed 
with divine scents. His countenance facing every way; a 
God, all marvellous, infinite. 12 The splendour of the 
Supreme was as though in the heavens the splendour of a 
thousand suns all together should blaze out. 

14 Thereat was Arjuna filled with amazement; with hair 
1 O highest Persor 

XI. I 4 -^S 1 the original GITA 29 

on end, he clasped his hands, bowed down his head, and 
addressed God: 

17 Bearer of crown, of mace and discus, see I, 

A sea of splendour, shining all around 
On all sides, a smi-flash of colossal flame. 

A prospect I can scarce endure, 
jp Without beginning, middle, end, infinite in Power, 
Numberless arms, the sun and moon Thy eyes. 

Thee I behold, with mouth of gleaming fiire. 

With Thy own glow searing this Universe. 

20 Spanning both Earth and Heaven — their amplitude 
Thou fillest with Thyself, in every breadth. 

Seeing Thee thus, wondrous and dread of Form, 

The triple World, O Mighty One, is filled with awe. 

21 Humbly the hosts of gods draw nigh to Thee, 

In fear stand others here with folded hands. 

All Hail to Thee! cry Siddha^ and the sages. 

Hymning Thy praise, all glorious, in their songs. 

22 All that’s in Heaven and Earth, the clouds and winds, 
All hfe in air and sea, spirits and gods. 

Demons and Siddhas, ancients, wondrous beings, 

Thee they behold, standing in fixed amaze. 

23 Colossal, many mouthed and many eyed. 

Unnumbered arms and legs, and feet and bodies, 
Bristling with horrid fangs. Thee the World sees, 

And stands. Lord, filled with horror, as do I! 

24 Reaching to Heaven, in many colours glowing. 

As there Thou standest, opening wide Thy mouths. 

Thy great eyes rolling! — I am seized with terror. 

My couragf fails, I am o’erwhelmed, O Vishnu. 

25 Brisiling with horrid fangs Thy mouths. 

Like to the flames consuming all the World. 

Where shall I flee ! No shelter can I find. 

Be gracious. Lord of gods. Thou ^orld sustainer. 

^ Demigods; cf. p. 122, 



[ XI. 26 - 34 . 

26 The sons of Dhritarashtra 

With all their hosts of warriors of the kings, 

Bhishma and Drona, Kama of the foe. 

And of our own force all the finest heroes, 

27 In swiftest march! — Behold Thy fangs protrading! 
How terrible Thy mouths, shut ting and opening! 
Heads crashed to pieces, there they are displayed. 
Pressed tight between Thy teeth, suspended there. 

28 Like as the streams of water, hurried onwards. 

Flow ever rushing downwards to the Ocean, 

So stream the heroes from the world of men. 

Into Thy mouths, glowing aU round vpith fire. 

29 As moths into the fierce flame of the lamp 
Impetuously swarm, to be destroyed. 

So crowd into Thy throats, to be destroyed 
Therein, the multitudes of men. 

50 For ever licking with Thy flaming mouths, 

Thou dost devour them on all sides ahke. 

Thy fearful glow smrches the utmost reaches, 

FtUing the Universe with flame, O Vishnu! 

31 Tell me, O Thou of dreadful Form, Who art Thou! 
Never can I conceive of Thy appearing. 

I do adore Thee, Prince of gods. Be gracious! 

Fain would I understand Thee, source of all. 

32 The Supreme: 

Kala am I, Destroyer, great and mighty. 

Appearing here all men to sweep away. 

And, without thee, would none of all these warriors. 
Here in their ranks arrayed, ever remaiii, 

33 Therefore arise, win glory, smite the foe, ° 
Enjoy thy lordship in prosperity. 

By Me alone have they long since been routed. 

Be thou nought but My tool, thou dexterous one. 

34 Drona and Bhishma too, and Jayadratha, 

XL 34-45] 


And^Karna with the others strong in battle. 

By Me already slain, slay thou. Be void of fear. 
Thine enemies thou shalt vanquish. — Fight thou on. 

55 Samjaya: 

Hearing Kesava’s words, trembling and shuddering, 
Qasping his hands, and humbly worshipping. 

The bearer of the crown thus spake to Knshna, 
Stammering and fearful, bowing down to Him. 

56 Arjuna: 

Rightly, O Hrishikesa, at Thy praises 
The Universe is gladdened and rejoices. 

Demons in terror seek the farthest spaces, 

While hosts of Siddhas to Thee do obeisance. 

41 Howe’er unseemly Thee I may have hailed 

As comrade: — “O Krishna! Yadava, O Friend!” 
Heedless expressions, or e’en too familiar, 

Forgetful of this Majesty of Thine, 

42 Whate’er in jest I have spoken with irreverence, 
Wand’ring or resting, sittin g do'^ or eating. 

Alone with Thee, or in another’s presence. 

For that I crave Thee pardon, boundless One. 

4S Father art Thou of all that moves, or moves not. 
Most ven’rable, the World’s reverM Guru,^ 

None is like Thee, much less is there a greater! 

In the three Worlds Thy Power hath no equal 
44 Therefore I bow, casting myself to earth, 

I would appease Thee, Lord, and worship Thee. 

As fathers sons, friends, friends, and as do lovers 
To those they love, O God, deign Thou to pardon. 
4y Rejoiced to see what ne’er hath yet been seen. 

Still is my mind with fear quite overwhelmed. 

Show me again, O God, Thine ancient Form. 

Be gracious to me. Lord of gods. World Orderer. 



46 Wearing the diadem, holding mace and discus. 

As erst Thou wert, may I again behold Thee. 

That Form, four-armed One, manifest anew, 

O thousand-armed, O Figure universal. 

4y The Supreme: 

Gracious to thee, have I this highest Form 
Shown thee, Arjuna, through My wondrous Power, 
Fl amin g and infinite, primeval, universal, 

Except by thee ne’er seen before by any. 

48 By Vedas, sacrifice, study or gift of alms. 

By ritual, or e’en by gruesome penance. 

No one save thee, in aU this world of men. 

Can see Me in this Form, O best of Kurus\ 

49 Be not distressed, be not thyself bewildered. 

At thus this awful Form of Mine beholding. 

From fear released, with joyful mind, behold Me 
Again, and in that Form beheld aforetime. 

50 Samjaya: 

Thus to Arjuna, “Yea”, spake Vasudeva, 

And showed Himself anew in andent Form. 

So the Supreme consoled the terror stricken. 

In friendly aspect once again returned. 

yj Arjuna: 

Now that I see Thee again in friendly human form, O 
Janardana, I have once more returned to my natural state of 
mind, and come to my senses again. 


58 The Supreme: 

Therefore direct thy thoughts to Me; then through My 
grace thou shalt surmount all difficulties. But if, from arro- 
gance, thou wilt not obey, thou shalt perish. 59 If (now). 

XVIII. 59-75] the original GITA 


in thy self-sufficiency, thou thinkest that thou wilt not fight, 
this thy resolve is (also) vain: thy (martial) nature will constrain 
thee so to do. 6o Forboundby the Power of Destiny, assigned 
to thee with thy nature, thou wilt do compulsorily what now 
through bewilderment thou dost not wish to do. 6i (But this 
compelling power of thine own nature is nothing other than 
the operation of the Universal Activity; for) this God abides 
in the heart of all beings and makes them move like puppets 
on the stage by His magic Power. . . . 

. . . 66 Fret not thyself, therefore, because of all the “laws”. 
(In thy “sorrow”) take thy refuge in Me alone. I will free 
thee from all “sins”. Abandon thy “sorrow”. . . . 

... 72 Hast thou heard this, O Partha, with attentive 
mind? Has thy perplexity disappeared, that sprang from 

75 Arjuna: 

The perplexity has disappeared. By Thy grace, O Acyuta, 
I have gained prudence. I stand steadfast, freed from doubt. 
I will fulfil Thy command. 






1 Dhritarashtra:'^ 

Assembled on the sacred field, the Kuru field,^ eager for 
battle, what did my people and the Pandavas do, O Samjaya? 

2 Samjaya:^ 

Duryodhana,^ the King, saw the army of the Pandavas,® 
drawn up in batde-hne. He approached his teacher (Drona®) 
and spoke to him these words: 

3 “Behold, O Teacher, this mighty host of the sons of 
Pandu, drawn up in batde array by the son of Drupada, thy 
wise disciple. 4 There are heroes, great archers, equal in 
fight to Bhima and Arjuna,’ Yuyudhana, Virata, and Drupada 
the great warrior charioteer, 5 Drishtraketu, Cekitana, and 
the valiant® King of the Kasis; also Purujit, Kuntibhoja, 
and the Prince of the Sibis, the hero, 6 Yudhamanyu the 

1 The bhnd old King of the Kauravas, and father of King Duryo- 

2 A plain near Delhi. 

® Samjaya (Siegfried) has, in some miraculous way, been present 
at the battle, and now narrates it to the blind King. 

^ “The Unconquerable. “ ^ 

s The opponents of the Kauravas, led by their King Ylidhishthira. 

® [He was teacher to both the Kurus and the Pandus, who had 
been brought up together at the Kuru court.] 

’ Yudhishthira’s brotjjiers, Bhima is Yudhishthira's Commander- 
in-Chief, while Arjuna, the friend of Krishna, is the great hero of 
the -Pandavas • s yzyyavdn . 



brave and Uttamaujas the valiant, Saubhadra’s son and the 
sons of Draupach,’^ all great warrior charioteers. 

7 But know those that are the chief of our side, the leaders 
of my army. So that thou mayest know them, I will name 
them to thee: 8 Thyself (Drona), then Bhishma,® Karna, 
Kripa, victorious in battle, Asvatthaman and Vikarna and 
Somadatta’s son, 9 and many other heroes, ready to renounce 
their lives for* me. With divers kinds of weapons they are 
aH skilled in fighting, 10 and yet this force of ours, though 
led by the (well-experienced) Bhishma himself, is insufiicient, 
while their force, led by Bhima, is sufficient (for victory).”® 

11 {Addressed to the bystanders): “So all ye therefore, 
arrayed in your respective ranks, heed my command that 
ye give Bhishma special* protection.” 

12 (When Bhishma heard this), in order to give Duryodhana 
courage the glorious Kuru elder® sounded the war cry, mighty 
as the hon’s roar, and blew his conch, 13 and straightway 
the conchs, the ketdedrums, drums, tabors, and the “cow- 
mouths”® (of the other leaders) sounded deeply forth; there 
was a wild uproar. 14 And straightway too, (from the Pan- 
davas’ ranks) Madhava (Krishna) and the son of Pandu 
(Arjuna), standmg side by side in their mighty war chariot 
yoked with white steeds, blew their magnificent conchs.’ 
15 Hrislukesa (Krishna) blew his Pancajanya,® the treasure 
gainer (Arjuna) his Devadatta® horn, Vrikodara of terrible 

1 The five Pandavas. ^ Duryodhana's Cominander-m-Chief. 

3 Duryodhana is most anxious about the issue of the battle. 

^ Note eva here. Bhishma, as the champion who is directing the 
battle, moves from place to place, but wherever he is, whoever finds 
himself where Bhishma himself is standmg must keep his safety in 
mind, « 

5 Bhishirla is Duryodhana's great-uncle. ® Trumpets. 

7 [In the next verse Madhava is called Hrishike^a], while Arjuna 
retains his own name. [Vrikodara (wolf-bellied) is an epithet of 
Bhima.] ^ 

s Made from the bones of a demon, Pancajana. 

® Bestowed, that is, by the deva Indra. 



[I. J5-27 

deeds the mighty horn Paundra. 16 The King himself, 
Yudhishthira, son of Kunti, blew Anantavijaya/ Nakula 
and Sahadeva, (his brothers), Sughosha and Manipushpaka,^ 
ij and likewise, far around, the Prince of the Kasis, finest 
of archers, and Sikandhin the warrior charioteer, Dhrishtad- 
yumna and Virata, Satyaki the unconquered, 18 Drupada and 
the sons of Draupadi and the son of Saubhadra, the mighty 
armed, severally blew their conchs. ip So- wild was the 
uproar that, resounding through Heaven and Earth, it rent 
the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra. 

20 And even as the arrows began to fly the son of Pandu 
(Arjuna), whose crest was an ape, seized his bow, gazed (con- 
templatively) at the sons of Dhritarashtra, 21 and then 
spoke to Hrishikesa:® 


Here, between the two armies, stay my chariot, O Acyuta,* 
22 so that I may behold them standing, eager for the fray. 
What kind of men shall I have to face m this hard battle? 
2^ I would ponder and examine who these warriors are, 
gathered here to please the evil minded Duryodhana. 

24 Samjaya: 

Hrishikesa, thus addressed by Gudakesa,® straightway 
stayed the best of chariots between the two armies, 25 in 
the face of Bhishma, Drona and all the other princes (of the 
foe), and said: “Behold these assembled Kurus”. 26 And 
Partha® saw standing there fathers and grandfathers, teachers, 
uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons and companions, 27 fathers- 

1 "Of endless victory.” 

2 “Loudly resounding and adorned with pearls.” 

® Krishna’s name, it may mean "curly haired”. 

* Another of Krishna’s names, meaning "The Immovable”. 

® Arjuna’s name — ‘"She thick haired”, possibly, or [having the 
haur in a ball]. 

The son of Prithi — a designation of Arjuna. 



in-Iaw and friends in both armies. Beholding all these 
kinsmen arrayed, 28 he was moved with deepest pity. 
Tremblingly he spoke: 


As I see these my own people, (on this side and on that), 
arrayed eager for batde, 29 my limbs fail. My mouth is 
parched. Trembling comes upon my body and my hair stands 
on end. 30 Gandiva^ slips from my hand, my skin burns 
all over. Hardly can I stand, and my mind is in a whirl. 
31 I see adverse signs, O Kesava,^ nor do I find any advantage 
if I slay those who are my own people in battle. 32 I wish 
not for victory, nor lordship nor pleasures (of conquest). For 
what is lordship to us? what are enjoyments or life itself?® 

33 They for whose sake we desire lordship, enjoyments and 
pleasures, stand here in battle, abandoning wealth and life: 

34 teachers and fathers and sons and grandfathers, fathers-in- 
law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and other kinsfolk. 33 Them 
I wish not to slay, though slain myself — ^not for lordship over 
the three Worlds, much less for mere lordship over the Earth. 
36 In laying low the sons of Dhritarashtra, what delight would 
be ours? Nought but sin would overtake us as archcriminals, 
were we to slay these. 37 We dare not slay those who are our 
own kinsfolk. For if we slay our own kin, how should we 
ourselves ever be happy? 38 Even if they, blinded by greed, 
see no wrong in destroying kin, nor crime in betraying friends, 

39 — ^how should we, who see the wrong, not know how to 
turn away from that sin (being endowed with insight)? 

40 When kin are destroyed the ancient and sacred kin laws 
themselves perish. But when the law is destroyed, lawless- 
ness overcomes Ihe whole kin. 41 Consequently the kins- 
women* are corrupted. But when the women are corrupted, 
straightway there arises confusion of caste. 42 But this 

1 [His bow ] ® Krishna’s epitSet, [having fine hair] 

® If, that is to say. they are bought at such a price. 

^ They were the guardians of the ancient sacred customs. 



must lead the destroyers of kin, and likewise the kin itself, 
to Hell, and the ancestors’- of the kin, because they are deprived 
of gifts to ancestors, plunge downwards (from the celestial 
pitri-loka).^ 4S Thus through these sins of the kin destroyers, 
that cause confusion of caste, both the primeval caste laws 
and the kin laws are ruined. 44 But the abode ordained for 
men who have no kin laws is ever in Hell, as the sacred precepts 
teach us. 45 Alas! a great sin we have resolved to commit, 
in that out of greed for the pleasures of lordship, we are pre- 
pared to slay our own people. 46 Rather may the sons of 
Dhritarashtra with weapons in hand slay me, unresisting and 
weaponless, in the battle (than that I should burden myself 
with such sin). 

4J Samjaya: 

Thus, pending the battle, Arjxma spoke and dropped his 
bow and arrows and, his mind shaken with grief, sank down 
on the chariot seat. 



I To him, moved by pity, his eyes filled by tears and grief, 
despondent, Madhusudana® spoke thus: 

2 The Supreme: 

Whence in this strait* has come upon thee this baseness, 
imseemly in the noble, excluding from Heaven,^ and causing 
disgrace, 0 Arjuna? 

1 [To -whom sacrifices for their welfare are due.] 

® The world of the Fathers. 

® An epithet of Krishna, [slayer of the demon Madhuj. 

* That is just at the oritical moment. 

® For the wamor, courage in battle is the pathway to the Heaven 
of India. 

IL 3-11I 



j Yield not to such nnmanliness: that befits thee not. 
Abandon such base weakness of heart. Stand np^, O Oppressor 
of the enemy! 

4 Arjuna: 

How shall I fight in battle with arrows against Bhishma^ 
against Drona^ both of whom deserve all veneration from me? 

5 Much better is it to eat the common food of beggars here. 
So as to be free from sin against such worthy teachers! 
Even though they are filled with desire for gain — ^to slay 


Would besmear all pleasure as with blood. 

6 And who can say which is the more to be desired : 

For us to conquer them or for them to conquer us? 

For without them we ourselves should not wish to live. 
Even the sons of Dhritarashtra arrayed before us. 

7 Perplexity has evilly befallen me. 

My sense of right and wrong is confused. 

I ask Thee, tell me with certainty, which now would be 

I am Thy disciple. Teach me: to Thee I flee. 

8 Even if I should attain prosperous and secure lordship on 
Earth, or even sovereignty among the gods, 

I see not what would drive away the sorrow that dries up 
the power of my senses. 

9 Samjaya: 

Thus Gudakesa addressed Hrishikesa. will not fighf^ 
— said he once more to Govinda. Then he became silent. 

10 Then Kxishna, with (a gracious) smile, spoke to the 
despondent one Between the two armies these words. 

II The Supreme: 

Thou utterest wise things^ — and yet tljpu sorrowest for whom 

^ [According to Anandagiri this refers to Arjuna’s words in I, 43, 
about the sin of destroying families. The Kashmir recension has, 



[II. JJ-J7 

thou shouldst not sorrow. Whether vitality has vanished 
or not — ^for that the wise grieve not. 12^ Never at any time 
was I notj nor thou^ nor these lords of men. Nor shall any 
of us ever cease to be hereafter. ly For as in this his actual 
body (one and the same) dweller therein^ passes successively 
through the conditions of childhood^ manhood and age (with- 
out losing his identity), even so is it with the acquisition of 
yet another body.^ The intelligent man is not confused (by 
the bodily change).^ 

{A Sdnkhya Gloss): 

14 But contacts with the mdtrds^ [the things of sense] which 
cause the sensations of cold and heat, of pleasure and pain,® 
are incessantly coming and going and without permanence; 
endure them in patience. 15 For he whom these distress not, 
but who confronts with equanimity weal and woe alike, is wise 
and fit for immortality. 16 The Unreal has no existence, non- 
existence pertains to the Unreal: philosophers'^ know of such 
distinctions between the existent and the non-existent. ly Know 

‘'thou dost not speak as an intelligent man"' ; but this, as Dr. Barnett 
points out, may be an efnendation to remove a supposed contra- 

1 Verses 12 and 13 state the theme, which is then explicitly substan- 
tiated by the ancient words of wisdom in the following three 
tnshtuhh strophes (of eleven syllables) 20, 22, 29 All else is 
intrusive accessory material 

2 This IS the “spiritual subject'' — the “self" or “individual" — 
who possesses its body, but is not identical with it: the adhyatman 
or “true" self In v 12 these spiritual subjects are conceived as 
forming an actual plurality 

® Wluch is acquired, that is to say, by one and the same imperish- 
ably identical spiritual subject 

^ As regards the permanence of the subject himself. 

^ These are the elementary qualities of Sound, Tangibility, Colour, 
Taste and Smell. 

® These are the contrasting “Pairs"; and in what follows “Pairs" 
is the term that is frequently used in this connection, 

’ The taitvavidas, who are those who know and enumerate the 
various “thatnesses" — filements or qualities (tattvas) ; they are 
sdnkhyas — “philosophers" in the proper sense of this term; cf. 
P-5’7, n 3. 

II. X 7 '“^ 7 ] 



that^ as indestructible, (because it exists), by which this (material) 
All is permeated^; no one can work the destruction of this change- 
less One. 18 'Tinite'* are called only the (successive) bodies 
of the 5^Z/-embodied (spiritual Being), but this (self-embodied 
Spirit) is eternal, indestructible, immeasureable (m its duration). 
— ^Therefore fight, 0 Bharata ig (For) whoever regards this 
as itself the slayer, or as that which is slain, both of them under- 
stand not : it slays not nor is it slain. 

20 It is born hot, nor does it ever die. 

Nor shall itj after having been brought into beings hereafter 
come not to be. 

Permanent^ eternal ancient^ unborn. 

This dies not, even when the body perishes. 

{Continuation of the Gloss): 

21 He that knows it to be indestructible, eternal, unborn, 
changeless, how can that man, and whom, can he slay or cause 
to be slain ! 

22 As a man casts off old clothes. 

In order to put on, instead, other new ones. 

So the embodied one casts away the worn-out bodies 
And puts on new garb. 

{Continuation of the Gloss ): — 

23 Weapons cleave it not, fire burns it not, water wets it not, 
wind dries it not. 24 Uncleavable it is, it cannot be burnt, it 
cannot be wetted, and it cannot be dried. Permanent, all- 
pervading,® stable and immovable, it is eternal. 25 Unmani- 
fested, inconceivable, unchanging it is called. Therefore knowing 
it to be such, thou shouldst not sorrow over it. 26 And even 
shouldst thou think of it as continually born, and continually 
dying, even so thou shouldst not sorrow over it. 27 (For in 

1 The atma-tattvam, that is, in its qualitative unity and equality, 
but in its numerical plurality, according to Ramanuja; c/. p 281. 

2 [‘‘Create^’’ — tatam: the word means "'stretched on a loom, 
woven’', and is due to the Vedic conception of the universe as the 
warp and woof of a loom. Sankara, followed by modern commen- 
tators, says vyaptam, “enveloped”.] 

^ Permeating merely the whole body? or'^omnipresent ? Accord- 
ing to Sankhya, each of the countless purushas (persons or selves) 
is all-pervading. 



that case it is surely true,) for him that is born death is certain, 
and certain is birth for him that is dead: over the unavoidable 
thou shouldst not sorrow. 28 (Again) • Unmanifest are creatures 
in their beginning, and unmamfest in their ending, only their 
state between beginning and end is manifest. What is there 
here for lamentation? 

29 As marvellous one man looks upon it. 

Likewise as marvellous another speaks of it. 

And as marvellous another hears of it. 

But not one — even when he has heard of it — ^knows it.^ 

50 (Therefore), O Arjuna, this embodied one itself in the 
body of everyone is ever invulnerable. Therefore for no 
creature shouldst thou sorrow (believing that it can a nnihi late 

31 But equally little shouldst thou tremble, when thou 
seekest thy own duty. For there is nought better to a warrior 
than righteous war. 32 With joy warriors take up such a 
fight, offered freely to them (from no fault of their own), as 
the open door of Heaven. 33 Shouldst thou refuse to under- 
take this righteous waffare, then thou wilt cast away thy own 
duty (over which thou art sorrowing), and also thy good name, 
and fall into sin. 34 And (with justice) people will speak of 
thy undying dishonour. And to an honourable man dis- 
honour is worse than death. 33 The warrior charioteers 
will think that thou hast held back from battle through fear. 
Thou vsdlt fall into contempt, even among those who honoured 
thee; 36 while they that have ill will to thee will say things 
of thee that cannot be gainsaid, mocking thy warlike valour. 
What is there worse than that for a warrior? 57 Either thou 
wilt fall and attain Heaven, or thou wilt conquer and gain the 
Earth. Therefore arise, O son of Kunti, resolved pn war.^ 

^ Here there are echoes of The Katha Upamshad, I, 3, 7. — Sankara 
expands the last line as follows. — “Even when one has beheld and 
heard and proclaimed 'it — no one has understood it”. No doubt 
he is correct. 

2 These are obvious martial terms that evidently culminate m 




{A Gloss): 

38 Holding equal pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and 
defeat, gird thyself (with equanimity) for the fight, so shalt 
thou not fall into sin.^ 

{The Original GUd is resumed in Chapter X, i ff.) 

(Treatise VII — ii. 59-iv. 42. Sa-Isvara-Yoga, together with 
Sdnkhya, incorporated in the Krishna cult.)^ 

(i). 59 The wisdom® (hitherto) expounded to thee is 
founded on Sdnkhya; but now hear what follows, founded 
on Yoga, Armed with this, O Partha, thou shalt cast off 
the bond of Karman [action]. 40 There is here neither loss 
of the advance (already won, to the goal), nor retreat (on 
the road already traversed),^ and even a little (observance) 
of this {Karma-Yoga-)dharma [righteousness] saves from the 

V- 37 > 38, on the other hand, halts most pitifully. The philosopher, 

who has previously interpolated his Glosses, here attaches his own 
scholastic doctrine to these simple chivalrous words His admoni- 
tion IS, however, altogether superfluous, since Arjuna had unfortu- 
nately been only too indiflerent to pleasure and pain, to success or 
failure, victory or defeat, and this is precisely what Krishna had 
wished to banish from his mind by the appeal to Arjuna's chivalrous 
sentiments. But at the same time the interpolator, who is simulta- 
neously a sankhya and a yogin, intends this Gloss to constitute the 
transition to the doctnnal Treatise on Yoga which he inserts here. 

1 But it was not apathy towards pleasure or pain, to gain or loss, 
that Krishna had intended to arouse, on the contrary, he had 
appealed to the painful sensibility to shame, and to the gam of 
Heaven and of earthly sovereignty. 

2 Sa -1 svara-Yoga is Yoga associated with I^vara, the Lord, or 
with God, cf. p. 130. On the construction of this Treatise, cf. p. 227, 
and on the subdivisions i., ii. . . . refer to the Analysis, p. 229. 

® ["'Thought”: the word here translated “thought” is huddht. 
It is the teaching concerning action which has just been given. 
Later, when the wor^ is used in a technical sense as one of the evolutes 
of Nature, and as the mental function to be trained by Yoga, it is 
translated “intellect”]; cf further p. 237 

^ Because “firm resolve” is the foundation of Yoga, This forms 
the characteristic distinction from Sankhya \vhich, owing to its intel- 
lectual aspect, does not adequately recognize this volitional factor 
of Yoga; cf. further pp. 117. 



great fear (of return to Samsdm).'^ 41 The mood of him who 
observes this dharma is unified and composed, because it 
is settled by firm resolve, while the mood of the irresolute is 
most diversified, endlessly wandering to and fro. 42-44 By 
firm resolve their mood cannot (be fixed and) brought to 
inner collectedness, who pursue nought higher than enjoy- 
ments, lordship and aims like these, since they are bereft 
of reason by flowery speech,^ which is concerned with 
nothing but uninterrupted rebirth (in endless Samsdra^) as 
the fruit of Veda-diCtions, and is filled with a thousand kinds 
of cult and ritual practices for attaining enjoyments, lord- 
ship, and aims such as these. Traditionalists declaim this 
(flowery speech and) the doctrine of the Vedas affirms this 
folly: 'There is nought (but the world of Samsdra and its 
enjoyments)."' Inordinate desire is of their very being and 
they strive only for the heavenly spheres (of the Vedas). 
45 For verily the Vedas strive only for this world (of sen- 
suous things),^ composed of the three gtmas.^ But do thou, 
O Arjuna, become fr^e from the world of the three gunas, 
free from the "pairs", abiding ever steadfast in thy being, 
indifferent to possessions and their preservation, lord of 
thyself. 46 Whatever advantage (a skilful husbandman) 
can derive from his reservoir, filled to its brim with water 
flowing in from all sides, the same advantage the learned 
brahman understands how to obtain from all his Vedas 

1 (Rebirth). Precisely because there is here no * ‘retreat 

2 The priestly wisdom associated with the eudemonistic Vedic 

cult activities. ^ With no way out from Sams am. 

^ To which the celestial worlds of the devas (gods) also belong. 

® The “constituents of Nature”, or “the strands” (Hill). [The 
Vedas deal with the objects of the world of sen se^ ritual and sacrifice, 
not with the means of winning final release. The pairs" of opposites 
are pleasure and pain, desire and aversion, etc.'l On the gunas, cf. 
further vii. 12 ff., xir. 5 jf., xvii. i ff,, xviii. 4ff. 

® [Meaning that the^ Vedas may have many uses for one who 
knows how to apply them, though not for attaining the highest end; 
but it has also been taken in the sense that where there is much 
water a tank is of no use at all]; cf. p. 283. 

II* 47 ~ 53 \ 



4y but as for thee, never concern thyself with the profit of 
thy actions, but only with the work itself that must be done. 
The motive for thy action should never be the fruit of thy 
works. Nevertheless, be not attached to complete absten- 
tion from action. 

(ii): 48 (On the contrary), do thy works, free from 
attachment (to actions and their fruits), with steadfast 
inner composure,^ indifferent to success or failure, verily, 
Yoga, (or inner composure), is equanimity. 

4g (Ultimately, all depends on this inner mood of equani- 
mity, since) action^ has far less value than the cultivation 
of (this) mood itself {buddhi),^ Take thy refuge in this mood 
(of equanimity), for wretched are they whose motive is 
the fruit of works.^ 50 He who has cultivated this mood 
abandons, even in this life, good and evil deeds alike. 
Therefore arm thyself with Yoga. Yoga gives skill with 
regard to actions.^ 51 For the wise who, thus armed in 
spirit, concern themselves not with the fruit produced by 
action, are released from the bonds of rebirth and go to the 
abode free from sickness. 52 When tliy mood, (being thus 
firmly disposed), shall pass beyond the tangle of (worldly) 
bewilderment, thou wilt be nauseated by all (Vedic) tradi- 
tion; 53 and when, reacting against tradition, thy capacity 
for insight and power of resolution {buddhi) shall immovably 
stand in steadfast composure, then shalt thou attain to 
Yoga (and its goal).® 

1 yogasthah 

2 [This, as Sankara says, and as the last words of the verse show, 
is ordinary action done for the sake of the fruit, the Yoga is the 
training of the intellect so as to act without desire for the fruit ] 

3 On this i!erm, c/. p. 237 

^ Pitiable and wretched, because they do not attain the inner 
freedom and spiritual superiority of the yogin, owing to being bound 
by interests ^ 

^ But cf. Note, p. 283. 

® That is freedom from the power of Karman and from Samsam. 



(ill): 54 Arjuna: 

What is characteristic of him who has attained this firmly 
founded wisdom/ and stands inwardly composed? How 
will one of such steadfast mood speak? How will he sit 
and move ? 

55 The Supreme Exalted One: 

He is called one of firmly founded wisdom who abandons 
all the desires that crowd into his heart, and is satisfied in 
the (inner) self by the self alone/ 56 He is called one of 
steadfast mood and (likewise) a silent recluse/ who grieves 
not over pain and is not concerned with pleasure, from 
whom desire, fear and anger have departed. 57 Firmly 
founded is his wisdW who, free from inclination to aught, 
whatsoever it may be, cherishes neither affection nor aversion, 
no matter whether good or ill befall him. 58 Firmly 
founded is his wisdom who, like a tortoise withdrawing its 
limbs, withdraws his senses on every side and avoids the 
objects of sense. 59 When an embodied one abstains from 
food he retains its pleasure (to some degree, and the desire 
for it), even though the pleasureable objects themselves 
vanish in this way. But when he sees the highest,^ pleasure 
and desire alike vanish. 

(iv) : 60 The senses are disturbing; violently they deprive 

^ Here prajnd is not theoretical insight like that possessed 
by the sdnkhya, but saptenha in the sense of wise conduct, and 
hence synonymous with biiddhi, which has just been described as 
consisting in force of resolution in accordance with conviction, 
hence ‘'firmly founded’’ wisdom; prajnd itself, in fact, also means 
resolutton, and perhaps a better translation here would be “firmly 
founded resolution”; cf, vyavasdya. For bhdshd Davies gives 
“distinguishing mark”. ^ 

® Not, that IS, owing to the capacity for sensuous and intellectual 
apperception, but immediately through the self. 

® Mum. This is the reply to Arjuna’s enquiry how a man of 
this sort speaks: — so f£r as is at all possible, he never does so. 

The spiritual self, within t^e body that it possesses. 

II. eo-^es] 



of reason even the wise man who is striving. 6 i He must 
bind them with his reason and, intent on this,^ persevere 
in strenuous self-control. For firmly founded is his wisdom 
who exerts authority over his senses. 

(v): 62 If a man meditates on the objects [of sense], 
interest in them arises; from interest desire is born; from 
desire^ anger is produced. 63 Through anger comes be- 
wilderment; through bewilderment the wavering of pru- 
dence,® the loss of prudence entails injury to the capacity 
for judgment and the power of resolution. And this is 
spiritual destruction. 64 (On the contrary), he who, master 
of himself, draws near the objects [of sense], with his senses 
free from inclination and aversion and under the firm 
control of the self, attains to ''serenity''.^ 65 In this 
serenity he gains release from all evil, because his force of 
resolution, who is thus serene, is forthwith strengthened.^ 
66 But not so for one untrained (through Yoga); neither 
can he attain a developed personality, while without such 
personality there is for him no true peace of soul. And 
how can good befall him who lacks this*? 

67 As the wind drives a ship on the waters, so is his 
wisdom carried away whose mind follows after the roving 
senses. 68 Therefore only his ''wisdom will be firmly 

1 According to Otto Schrader's The Kashmir Recension of The 
Bhagaradgita (referred to as K), and to Ranaakantha, {cf. Schrader, 
p 26) The matpara of the Vulgate is to be easily explained as a 
later correction of the original tatpam, though the converse is im- 
possible There is n© reference whatever to Isvara m the entire 
context, while the Text of K and of Ramakantha also is in complete 
conformity with the tone of the pure Equanimity- Yoga depicted 

2 When it remains unsatisfied, and because it cannot be satisfied. 

^ Or errors of memory 

^ This IS a technical term, equivalent to spiritual ataraxia, or to 
absolute rjavxia. 

^ This has previously been referred to as inner superiority, cf. 
H. 34, “honour" and “dishonour"; also ii. 45, and Note i, p. 46. - 



founded” who strenuously withholds his senses on all sides 
from the objects [of sense], (as it is said) . 

69 ”In the night of other beings, he who is self-controlled 
is awake. 

And when they awake, that is night for the mum [recluse], 
who sees (the truth).” 

(Or again) : 

70 ‘'As M^aters fall into the ocean. 

Without ever filling it, and without agitating it. 

So he into whom desires flow, leaving no traces, 
Attains to peace, and not the pleasure seeker.” 

72 (This teaches that) he who forsakes all desires, and 
moves devoid of all aspiration, without seeking “mine”, or 
self, attains to peace. 

72 This state is the ‘'Brahma'' state. Whoever attains 
this is released from illusion. And he who at the hour of 
death abides in it enters the Nirvana of Brahma, 



(vi): I Arjuna: 

Buddhi^ [Intellect] is deemed by Thee to be more excellent 
than action. Why then dost Thou impose on me action 
that is so terrible? 2 Meseems that with perplexing speech 
Thou bewilderest my judgment. Tell me therefore clearly 
the one thing whereby I may attain the better course. 

3 The Supreme: 

I have told thee before that there are tVo kinds of 

1 This has previously been defined as “firmly founded wisdom'^ 
shown in the deliberate renunciation of the objects of sense and the 
things of the world. jBut if this is all that matters, then the question 
at once arises whether there is any meaning in acting at all. 

III. J-J2] 



(righteous) ‘'practice’’ pursued by mankind — that of the 
sdnkhyas as the practice of knowledge and that of the 
yogins as the practice of action. 4 (But the practice of 
exoteric Sannydsa [Renunciation] is wrong, since) by 
merely refusing to undertake action man attains no release 
from the bonds of Karman, nor by mere renunciation of 
action does he win perfection, 5 For no one ever, even 
for one moment, (really) remains without doing action, 
since quite involuntarily everyone is made to do action 
(every moment) by the gunas arising from Nature, 6 and 
he who strenuously controls his (five) organs of action, yet 
at the same time reflects in his mind on the objects of the 
senses (and desires them) is wholly in error and the victim 
of illusion. 

7 But he who restrains his senses by his mind, and by 
means of his organs of action pursues the practice of work, 
being unattached to action and its fruit, excels. 8 There- 
fore do thou the action that is necessary. Action is better 
than non-action. Even the maintenance of thy body 
would not be achieved if thou didst not* act. 

(A Gloss of the Brahman Theologian): 

(a)^: 9 Except for the action done for the sake of sacrifice, 
all action “binds” this world (to Samsdra), For the sake of 
that do thou action, yet free from attachment. 10 The creator 
Prajapati^ aforetime created human beings along with sacrifice 
and spake to them: “By virtue of the sacrifice ye shall propa- 
gate, the sacrifice shall be your cow of desires.® ii With this 
nourish ye the gods; in return for this, may the gods nourish 
you. Thus mutually nourishing each other, ye will attain all 
well-being. 12 For the gods, nourished by your sacrifice, shall 
grant you your wished- for blessings. But he who enjoys the 
blessings grafted }fy them, and does not himself on his own 
part offer to them, is verily a thief ” 

^ a and ^ refer to p. 285. 

2 [The creator m Vedic mythology ] ^ 

® [A mythical cow of Indra, from winch everything desired could 
be had ; see x. 28,] 

1 he Ongma GUa D 



13 Therefore excellent are they who eat their food only as 
the remains of the sacrifice: they shall be freed from all sins. 
Wicked are they who cook only for themselves; they eat sin. 

(^): 14 From food beings arise, from ram food is produced, 
from the sacrifice arises rain, and the sacrifice is produced by 
(ritual) action, 15 (ritual) action from (Sabda-) Brahman^ (the 
Vedas), {Sahda)-Brahnian from Akshara-Brahman [the imperish- 
able] Therefore Bmhmctn itself, that is so far as it is ‘'all 
pervading'', rests always on the sacrifice 16 Thus turns the 
Brahman wheel, and the life of him who turns not with this is 
sin, he is a slave of the senses and his life is vain.^ ij But 
the man who rejoices in the dtman^ alone, who is satisfied in 
the dtman itself, and who is content in the dtman alone, for him 
there is nought remaining to be done. 18 For him there is no 
longer meaning in what is ''done" or "not done", and all things 
concern him no more 

jp Therefore without attachment ever perform action 
that should be done; whoso does this attains the supreme 
(goal). 20 Verily by action Janaka^ and others (the great 
ones of old time) achieved the realization of the goal^ — 
Thou shouldst act solely so as to maintain order among the 
people (by thy example).® 21 For as he of superior rank 
behaves, so too do other people, whatever he sets before 
them, people imitate. 22 (Look towards Myself) : there is 
nought that must be done by Me (of Myself) in all three 
worlds; there is nought that I have not achieved, so that I 
must strive therefor. Yet I engage in action. For 
verily if I did not engage in action unweariedly, then would 
mankind, likewise, everywhere follow My track. 24 (This 

^ [Here in the Vedic sense of prayer or magical formula, especially 
the mantras of the Vedas used in the sacrifice; cf, Vedtc Hymns, 
pp. 21, 125. In IV. 24, where it is explained that any action may be 
a sacrifice, Brahma is the Supreme. For Brah?ia the god, see Note 
on VIII. 5.] ' 

‘ ® Since it leads to nothing good. ® The self, 

^ [King of Mithila and father of Sita, the wife of Rama.] 

^ samsiddhtm dsthit^: in terms of primitive Yoga, *'they have be- 
come dtvyasiddhas” ; cf, p- 1^4, n. 3. 

As beseems thee, in belonging to the ruling class. 

III. 24-33] 



means that) these worlds would fall into ruin if I did not 
perform action, I should cause universal confusion, and 
verily I should destroy these creatures. 

25 The unwise perform action, being attached to action: 
the wise too should act as they do, only without attachment, 
and (solely) with the view to maintaining order among the 
people. 26 No one therefore should impair the convictions 
of those who, (in their naivety), are attached to action, the 
(multitude) who lack the higher insight. The learned man 
approves of all works such as he himself executes, but as a 
yogin. 27 (In truth) actions are produced wholly by the 
gunas of Nature. Only he who, under the delusion of the 
transference (of Nature's activity), concentrates on the ego, 
imagines that 'T myself am the doer". 28 But he who 
knows the actual conditions, regarding the distinction 
(between himself) and gunas and action, thinks: ''gunas 
function in relation to gunas ** and is thereby free from 
attachment. 29 Those who are bewildered by the gunas 
of Nature are attached to the action^, which nevertheless 
are effected only by the gunas themselves. Let not him 
who knows the whole tnrth impair the convictions of the 
simple-minded, who know only half the truth. 30 So fight 
therefore, with thy thought concentrated on the true self 
within thee, without desire, without self-interest, without 
excitement, abandoning all actions to Me. 31 He also, 
who ever follows this My teaching, full of faith and with 
no opposition, is released from his actions.^ 32 But know 
thou that he who opposes this My teaching, and follows it 
not, is a man completely bewildered in knowledge, un- 
reasonable and lo§t. 

33 The mhn of knowledge too is active in accordance with 

^ The apparent actor-subject, originating from the combinations 
of the gunas, affects objects which consist of such combinations 
themselves, <?/. Hill's Note. ^ 

2 Or in other words : they no longer fetter him to Samsam, as ,all 
actions would do otherwise. 



his nature. All beings follow Nature, and compulsion can 
effect nothing (against one's own nature).^ 

34 Inclination and aversion are related to the object of 
each sense One should guard against falling into the 
power of these two (motives), for they constantly lie in wait 
for him in the way. 55 It is better to fulfil one's own duty, 
even though inadequately performed, than another's duty, 
even though well done. Better is destruction in fulfilling 
one's own duty than the gain of happiness in the fulfilment 
of duty not one's own.^ 

(vii): 36 Arjuna: 

Then by what is the man urged on that he commits evil, 
even without wishing it, as though constrained by force ? 

The Supreme: 

It is desire, it is anger, produced by the rajas-guna [the 
constituent of passion], an archdevourer, a vile scoundrel. 
Know that in this woiid that is the enemy. 38 As a flame 
enveloped in smoke,* as a mirror by dirt, as the embryo by 
the womb, so is this (knowledge) by that^ (doubly vile 
scoundrel). 39 This eternal enemy of the knower, which 
takes at will now this form and now that and is like an 
insatiable flame, envelops the knowledge of the knower 
40 In the senses, the mind and the intellect it takes up its 
station (disturbing them), and with these (after disturbing 
them) it bewilders the embodied one, enveloping his know- 
ledge. 41 Therefore first restraining thy senses, do thou 
expel this vile scoundrel, that destroys knowledge and 
understanding. 42 ''The senses are the highest" — this they 
say. (Yet) higher than the senses is the^mind^^ higher than 
the mind is the intellect, but higher than the intellect is 
he, (the spiritual subject itself). 43 Thus deeming (the 

1 furc^ si expelhs 'mturam, tamen usque recurnt, ^ With K, 

^ “This” — ^in other terms knowledge (jnana ) — ^is “enveloped” by 
the “enemy”, as 39 proceeds to show. 

III. 6] 



self) as higher than (sense, mind and) intellect, and estab- 
lishing the self by the self,^ slay thou this enemy which is 
as hard to grasp as Proteus. 



(viii ) : I The Supreme: 

To Vivasvat I proclaimed this changeless Yoga doctrine 
aforetime, Vivasvat declared it to Manu, Manu to Ikshvaku.^ 
2 So receiving the doctrine in succession the royal sages 
came to know it. But through the lapse of long time it 
has been lost from among them. 3 To-day I have pro- 
claimed (anew) to thee even this ancient Yoga doctrine, 
because thou art My devoted one and friend. (Not to 
everyone would I declare it), for this is a supreme secret. 

4 Afjuna: 

How am I to understand that Thou didst proclaim this 
in the beginning? For Thy birth was after, the birth of 
Vivasvat was before. 

5 The Supreme Exalted One: 

Many are My previous births, and thine own also, O 
Arjuna. I know them all, but thou knowest them not. 

6 Though I am unborn and unchanging, though I am the 
Lord of creatures, I am born (in different incarnations) by 
My own miraculpc^s Power and as Lord of My own Nature.® 

1 The ''independent”, that is to say the self, which supports 
itself on nothing else^ has its own support purely in itself alone 

2 [These are ancestors in the solar line of kings. Vivasvat is the 
sun himself.] 

^ All other creatures come into bodily existence through the 
power of Karman, and are subjected to Native. But God creates 
for Himself a body by His free miraculous Power, and as Lord over 
Nature, which belongs to Him and obeys Him. 




(ix) : 7 For whenever the Law decays and there is a rising 
of unrighteousness, then I create Myself (in visible forms). 

8 In order to protect the devout, and to destroy evil-doers, 
to re-establish the Law, I am bom iromynga to yuga [from 
age to age].^ 9 He who thus understands aright My birth 
and My divine action comes not to rebirth, when he 
abandons the body, but he comes to Me, 0 Arjuna. 

JO Many there are who thus, freed from inordinate desire, 
fear and anger, filled with Me, depending on Me, purified 
with *‘jndna4apas''^ [austerity of knowledge], have attained 
to the state of My Being. 

II (In divers ways) men approach Me. verily, according 
to the manner of their approach do I impart Myself to them. 
In all their various modes (of religion) they ever follow My 
path alone. I2 Here they sacrifice to the (various lower) 
gods, desiring the (worldly) success of their (sacrificial) 
actions, (and rightly so, for) surely indeed, here in the 
world of men,^ from these acts of sacrifice there comes 
forthwith the longed for success (granted by Me). 13 Ac- 
cording to the distinction of the gunas and Kannan I created 

1 [Nine incarnations are spoken of and one to come, but there 
are many more. Sri Gauranga (Chaitanya), who appeared as a 
religious reformer in Bengal in the fifteenth century, is held by the 
Vaishnavas of Bengal to be ‘'neither a human personality, nor even 
an incarnation, but the absolute Being Bhagavan himselT’. — G. B. 
Mallik, The Philosophy of the Vmsnava Religion, voL 1, p. 234 ] 

^ Tap as was the asceticism, or castigation, which contained 
within itself magical powers. Here it is allegorized in the form of 
^nana — as the "knowledge” that always retains something of its 
original magical meaning. In v. 33 jhana is conceived as a yajua; 
here, similarly, as tapas. Just as jMna is to be practised here as 
a tapas, so m v, 33 it is to be practised as d^yajha (sacrifice). In both 
cases the sense remains the same: what iapm and yajua effected 
previously, as magic powers in magic practice, is here'' to be effected 
by jnana — ^that is to "bum up” the fatality of action by its magic 

® The cult of the dt^vas enjoys success only here, in the world of 
mankind. For transcendent perfection [siddht), however, it avails 
nothing; on the context of p. 288. 




the people of the four castes. For though I am in this way 
a "'worker'', still I remain — ^mark thou this — ever an un- 
changing “non-worker". 14 (For) actions stain Me not, 
and no desire have I for the fruit of action. He who thus 
understands Me is (likewise) not bound by actions. 15 With 
this knowledge action was done also by men of old who 
desired release. Therefore so do thou do action, as was 
done before by men of old. 

(x): 16 But what is “action", what is “non-action"? 
Herein even sages have been perplexed. Therefore what the 
essence of “action" is I will more fully explain to thee; by 
understanding it aright thou shalt be released from evil. 
ly For man must (distinguish and) know about “action", 
about “wrong action" and about “non-action". Profound 
is the way of “action". (As has been said of it) : 

18 “He who can see non-action in action, and sees action 
in non-action, 

With vision among men (who are blind) — 

He is d^yogin whose action is perfect." 

(This means) : 

ig He whose every undertaking (while it is indeed accom- 
plished), is without desire or purpose, because all his work 
is (thus) burnt up in the fire of knowledge, is called learned 
by the wise. 20 (For) whosoever has abandoned attach- 
ment to the fruit of actions, ever contented in himself, and 
independent, even though he is occupied in action — 
nevertheless he “performs" none.^ 21 Without desire, and 
curbing his thoughts, free from desire of possessions, doing 
merely that action required by the body, he remains free 
from guilt,^ even when he is occupied. 22 Although he 
acts he is not bound if, satisfied with what he gets by 

^ Here "'performs’' carries the further implication that "he 
involves no Karman for himself”. 

2 This "guilt” cannot be understood, witho^it further ado, in the 
sense of the Christian concept of guilt. It is specifically the "evil” 
of the fatalism due to the bondage of Karman, 

5 ^ 


chance, and beyond the '"pairs”, he is unenvioiis and even- 
minded in success or failure. 

(xi) : 23 He who is free from attachment, who has won 
release (from the things of sense), who has established his 
mind in knowledge, while he employs (this) in "sacrifice”, 
all his action is annihilated. 

{A Gloss of the Brahman Theologian): 

24 The offering is Brahman (as the act), the (offered) gift is 
Brahman, and what is sacrificed in the Brahma n-fixe is sacrificed 
by Brahman. Whoever contemplates the act of sacrifice as 
Brahman Itself has attained to Brahman.'^ 25 Some devout 
persons (of the lowest status) celebrate the sacrifice which is 
intended for the devas only. Others (of higher status) certainly 
offer the sacrifice in the Brahman-fixe, but as a mere sacrifice. 
26 The third group sacrifice the senses of hearing, seeing, and 
others, in the fire of the conquest of sense. The fourth group 
sacrifice the objects of sense themselves, such as sound, colour 
and others in the fire of sense. 27 The fifth type (the technical 
yog%ns) sacrifice all the activities of the senses and of breath in 
the fire of Yoga, lit by knowledge, together with (psycho-tech- 
nical) self-restraint. gS Others, striving, sacrifice possessions,^ 
others practise asceticism, others Yoga (in the wider sense) or 
their knowledge gained from study of the Vedas, as sacrifice, or 
they take upon themselves strict penitential vows. 29 Others 
again (the hatha-yogins) sacrifice out-breathing in in-breathing 
and in-breathing in out-breathing, since in controlling both they 
train themselves in ''frdndydma”.^ 30 Others practise fasting 
and so sacrifice the life-spirits in the life-spints. All these are 
skilful in sacrifice, and by such sacrifice they remove their stains. 
31 (But) he who eats only the remains of the sacrificial food, as 
the food of immortality, goes to the eternal Brahman. Even this 
world is not for him who sacrifices not ; how much less the higher 
world! 32 The sacrifices, thus many and various, are all per- 
formed^ in the mouth of the brahman, know that they are all 

^ [See note on in. 15.] This is intended to mean that Brahman is 
simultaneously the act, object and subject of the sacrifice. 

2 Restraint of the kf e-breaths. 

® Vitan, ‘*to perform” (Apte*s Sanskrit-Enghsh Dictionary, 7.) 
In V. 32 the Glossographer returns to his starting point in v. 24. 


IV. 32^41] 


born of (Vedic ritual) action. If thou understandest them thus, 
then thou shalt be liberated (through them). 

jj. Such jndna-yajna^ [the sacrifice of knowledge] is 
better than material sacrifice, since all Karman culminates 
wholly in 34 Acquire this by adoration and 

serving (thy guru) and by putting eager questions. The 
possessors of jndnaj the philosophers,^ will teach thee such 

{A Gloss of the Brahman Theologian): 

35 When thou hast once attained this, thou wilt not again fall 
into bewilderment. Through this thou shalt behold beings all 
together in thyself and thus in Me. 

36 Even though thou art the chief sinner of all sinners, it 
is by the raft of jhdna that thou shalt cross over all guilt. 
37 As a burning fire reduces its fuel to ashes, so the fire of 
jhdna reduces all actions to ashes. 38 For there is here no 
means of expiation that is equivalent to jhdna] he who has 
become perfect in Yoga^ finds it in time in himself. 59 He 
who devoutly receives this {Yoga-Sdnkhy a-) Aoctxine and, 
with senses restrained, is intent on jhdna, gains it. When 
he has gained it, in no long time he attains to supreme 
peace of soul. 40 But he who lOiOks jhdna [who is ignorant] 
and without faith (in the doctrine), entertaining doubt, is 
destroyed. There is neither this world nor another, nor 
happiness, for him who is sick with doubt. 41 But he who 

1 This is an exact parallel to jhdna-iapas, already referred to in 
V. 10, and IS to be understood in precisely the same sense. 

2 But V 3y maintains that jnana does not “complete'^ Karman, 
but burns it '‘to ashes”; here therefore pansamapyate cannot mean 
that “Karman culminates wholly in jndna’* but rather: "in jndna 
it comes completely to an end”. 

2 Here again, as previously in ii 16, the “^ajf/ua-beholders”, or 
the knowers of the classified principles ; jhdmn and tattvadarhn are 
appellations of the sdnhhyas, and these were "the philosophers”. 
The author refers to them because he woulcl^very much like to com- 
bine Yoga with Sdnhhya, cf. v 3g. 

^ Yoga is incorporated within Sdnkhya as a means. 



through Yoga has renounced (attachment to) action and 
whose doubt has been cloven asunder by jnana} and who 
has thus mastered his self, is not bound by actions. 
42 Therefore with the sword of jndna cleave asunder this 
thy doubt^ in thy heart, born of ignorance, and be estab- 
lished in Yoga. Stand up, 0 Bharata. 


[renunciation of actions] 

(Treatise V — v. Sdnkhya and Yoga are connected 


j Arjuna: 

Thou praisest the renunciation of action, O Krishna, and 
Thou also praisest the Yoga (of action). Of these two which 
is the better? Tell me clearly and with certainty. 

2 The Supreme: 

Renunciation of action and the Yoga of action both effect 
salvation, but of these two the Yoga of action is superior to 
the renunciation of action. 3 (Or yet more truly) : He is 
to be known as (actually) a perpetual renouncer who (while 
doing actions, nevertheless) cherishes neither aversion nor 
inclination For he who is thus without the ''pairs'' is 
easily freed from bondage. 4 (This comes about alike by 
Sdnkhya and by Yoga): only fools, and not the learned, 
declare that Sdnkhya and Yoga should be separated. But 


^ That is knowledge of Sdnkhya, so that he is simultaneously a 
yogin and a sdnkhya. 

^ But with "'this doubt’" Arjuna's despair has not the remotest 

® On the details and the general character of this Treatise cf. 
p. 290. It is an Appendix to its predecessor. 

V. ^~JJ] 



whoso treads only one of these two paths to release from 
bondage gains fully the fruit of both. 5 (For) the state 
attained by (the knowledge of) Sankkya is likewise gained 
by the practisers of Yoga. Whoso sees Sankkya and Yoga 
as wholly one sees aright.^ 

{A Gloss of the Brahman Theologian): 

6 Renunciation is hard to obtain without Yoga, while the 
muni armed with Yoga in no long time reaches Brahman. 

7 Armed with Yoga, with the self purified and subdued, the 
senses overcome and the self (thus) become the Self of all beings, 
even though he act he is not stained. 

(i, a)^: 8 (Thus the sdnkhya ) : He who has true knowledge 
should, in the proper way, cherish the thought. 'T myself 
do not act”, for whether seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, 
eating, walking, sleeping, breathing, 9 speaking, letting go, 
grasping, or opening and closing the eyes, he cherishes the 
idea: '"Only the senses (which pertain to Nature, not to the 
self) function in relation to the objects of the senses, (but 
not I myself)”. 

{A Gloss of the Brahman Theologian): 

10 Whoso acts without inclination, resigning his actions to 
Brahman, escapes the evil (which follows upon every action, 
even the good), like a lotus leaf unstained by water. 

(b) : II (The yogin again) : It is only through the body, 
the mind, the intellect and the senses, (but not with the self), 
that yogins perform action,^ which leads them to the puri- 
fication of the self, in so far as they do this without 

1 This states the Thesis to be proved, which is more specifically 
expanded in vv. 8 ff The Gloss that immediately follows, in v. 6 , 
interrupts this perfectly obvious connection. 

2 cf p. 206. 

3 (Later) Yoga, too, accepts the principle that, properly speaking, 
only “the body, understanding, reason and the senses” — in other 
words, PrakrtU — function To this, however, it adds the distinctive 
doctrine that “action”, even if free from inclination, is serviceable — 
a thesis that has no meaning whatever for the sankkya. 


12 (For both paths it is alike true that) he who is trained 
attains to final peace through freedom from attachment, 
but he who is untrained is bound through his attachment, 
the result of his lusts. 

(ii, a) : 13 (And further, on his part, the sdnkhya ) : 
After, by thought} he has renounced all actions (from the 
Purusha to Prakriti), the spiritual subject abides calmly 
and unassailably^ neither acting nor causing to act. 14 Lord 
of the World, (of objects, their attractions and annoyances), 
he produces of himself neithex agency, nor deed, nor the union 
of deed and fruit; all this pertains to (unspiritual) Nature; — 
13 nor does he take upon himself the sin of anyone nor his 
merit, although he permeates all. (Pure) jhdna [knowledge] 
is enveloped by ajhdna [ignorance], through which man 
falls into error (as to the true essence of his pure spiritual 
subject). 16 But for those whose ignorance of the dtman 
through knowledge is destroyed, their knowledge, like the 
sun, illumines the Supreme (that is, the absolute Self). 
17 Having their intellect on this Supreme, themselves being 
this Supreme, steadfastly subsisting in Him, wholly directed 
thereto, they attain the place from where there is no return, 
freed hy jMna from contamination. 

{A Gloss of the Brahman Theologian): 

18 The learned perceive equality between a brahman, filled 
with knowledge and self-discipline, a cow, an elephant, a dog 
and a cooker of dogs. 19 He whose spirit stands firm in this 
vision of equality has already overcome Nature in this world 
(of life). For this faultless equaht}?' is Brahman Itself; therefore 
they stand firm in Brahman Itself. 20 When one no longer 
feels glad if conditions are pleasant, and no longer agitated if 
conditions are unpleasant, when, his spirit steadfastly directed 
and unbewildered, he is a knower of Brahman, th^n he stands 
firmly in Brahman. 21 WTioso® is indifferent to all things that 

^ As has been-rexplained mv. 8 . 

2 VaB: elsewhere described as 'Independent''. 

^ yas, with K (Schrader's Kashmir Recension). 


affect him from without, finding happiness in himself, trained in 
Brahma-Yoga, attains imperishable happiness,^ 22 while enjoy- 
ments, born of contact with external things, have beginning and 
end and bring forth nothing but pain. The prudent do not 
rejoice in them. 

(6) : 23 (Theyogin again) : He who, before being released 
from the body, can resist here the agitations of the soul, 
arising from desire or anger, (by means of strenuous and 
deliberate self-control), is trained and is a happy man. 

A Gloss of the. Brahman Theologian): 

24 He who has happiness and bliss and light within, such a 
yogtn, becoming Brahman, attains to the Nirvana of Brahma. 
25 The masters, who are stainless, freed from doubt, their selves 
restrained and rejoicing in the welfare of all beings, attain the 
Nirvana of Brahma. 26 To those who are freed from desire 
and anger, striving with restrained mind and with knowledge 
of the self, the Nirvana of Brahma is near. 

27 He who permits no external contacts with himself, 
directs his gaze on the spot between his eyebrows, makes his 
out-breathing and in-breathing equ'hl in their passage 
through his nose, 28 restrained in senses, mind and 
intellect, silently reclines, intent only on release, without 
even desire, fear or anger, is in truth released. — 2g He 
knows Me as the great Lord of all the Worlds, as the One to 
Whom go all sacrifice and discipline, as the Friend of all 
beings, and thus he attains to peace.^ 

1 With K. 

2 This Yoga is therefore Sa-Iivara-Yoga, though at the same 
moment more warmly coloured by Krishna-Bhakti than the custom- 
ary Sa-lsvara-Yoga, while here too the sankhya clearly knows, as 
what is ‘ 'highest”, ^only the self-illumination of the atman, which 
is essentially** one with jnana, and his Kaivalyam or isolation from 
the material world, with its ecstasy, and who is thus An-Isvara; 
cf. V. 16 All this corresponds to relations that are recognized in 
other contexts, cf. p. 43, n. 2. 



[VI x-7 



(Treatise VI — vi-ix)J 

1 The Supreme: 

{A, x): The (true) sannydsin and yog%n is he who does 
the action that he ought, without therewith concerning 
himself with the fruit of action. But not (the parivrdjaka 
of olden days)^ who renounced the sacred fire and ceremonies. 

2 (For verily Yoga is an actual '‘renunciation’'; and) know 
that what they call ''renunciation'' is the essence of Yoga: 
only he who renounces all interests^ is an actual yogm, 

{A Gloss): 

3 Action is the means employed by the muni who aspires to 
ascend to Yoga But for him who has already completed the 
ascent to Yoga, the cessation of action is henceforth the means 
(to Brahma-bhavaS} . 

4 for when he is not attached to objects of sense nor to 
actions, because he has renounced every interest,^ then only 
is he said actually to be one who has ascended to Yoga, 
5 Man must himself exalt his self, not (himself) depress his 
self: for man can himself be both the friend, and the enemy, 
of his self. 6 He is himself the friend of his self when he has 
of himself conquered himself. But he himself may be the 
enemy (not against his self, but) against the enmity of his 
own “not-self’.^ 7 He who, conquering himself, has 
attained inner tranquillity, has wholly concentrated his 

^ For the analysis, and the essential features, of this Treatise 
cf, pp. 2 o8, 291 ff, 

^ A religious mendicant community. 

® [The purpose of acting so as to gain the fruit ] 

^ The mode of Being of Brahma, 

® But by no means^the actions themselves, as the clumsy Gloss 
in V, sh maintains. 

^ The “not-selE" is constituted by the senses and their incitements. 

VI. 7"“J6] 



highest self- upon indifference to cold and heat, honour or 
dishonour, (as to all '‘pairs’’); 8 a true yogin, contented 
with knowledge and understanding, exalted above the being 
of the world, with senses subdued, to whom a stump, a 
stone, and gold are of equal value, is rightly called one who 
is “trained”. 9 He excels who maintains the same dis- 
position towards friends and comrades as towards enemies 
or those who are indifferent, or to those who are some- 
times one and sometimes the other, or indeed to evil as to 

{2): 10 Abiding in a solitary place, remaining alone, 
controlling his mind, void of desire and free from the wish 
to possess, the yogin should devote himself to the methodical 
repetition of discipline (of specific Yoga technique), ii In 
a pure place, he sets up for himself a firm seat, not too high 
and not too low, with a cloth or a skin or Kusa grass upon 
it. 12 Sitting there on the seat, he should bring his mind 
wholly to one point by curbing the play of his senses and 
mind, and should thus practise (aboye all) the discipline 
that conduces towards the purifying of the self. 13 Holding 
his body, neck and head evenly and unmoved, firmly sitting 
there, he directs his gaze to the point of his nose, without 
turning in any other direction. 14 His spirit in perfect 
peace, freed from fear, true to the vow of chastity,^ there 
let him sit in composure, restraining the manas [mind], 
intent on Me, with his thought on Me.^ J5 When the yogtn 
thus methodically trains himself, with manas restrained, 
he attains (to the same) peace of soul as abides within Me 
and then leads to Nirvana. 

16 (This) Yoga\s> not for one who eats too much, nor for 

^ ['‘Higher* self” gives the required meaning, but paramatman 
usually means the supreme self ] 

2 This refers to those sexual impulses which to the primitive 
yogin became objectified as seductive v%hams ^obstacles). 

® Isvaraprarndhana (thinking about the Lord) as most powerful 
dhdrana: — ^fixing the mind on its object; of. p. 207. 


one who refrains altogether from food, nor for one of very 
sleepy habit, nor again for one w^ho refrains from sleep. 
J7 (Much more) for him who (pursues the proper mean and) 
controls himself in food and recreation, whose activities 
are trained m performing actions, in sleeping and waking, 
Yoga becomes a destroyer of pain. 18 When the mind is 
restrained and fixed on the Self alone, he is (rightly) called 
“trained'', unaffected by all objects of desire. Jp (Thus is 
this deemed) to be an ancient traditional likeness of the 
yogin of restrained mind, who practises Atma-Yoga {Yoga 
of the self] : 

“as a lamp in a windless place flickers not". 

20 Thus the mind, restrained by Yoga discipline, finds 
rest, and thus man rejoices in the self, seeing the self only 
through the Self. 21 He who^ knows this infinite happiness, 
which is beyond sense and perceived only spiritually, wdierem 
having become steadfast, he no longer moves from the real, 
22 and wherein, after attaining such a destiny, he esteems 
no other fate whatsoever as higher than this, abiding in 
which he himself is no more shaken by heavy calamity; 
this is what is called “Yoga": “separation from conjunction 
with pain". — 

(5) • 23 This Yoga should be practised with firm resolution 
and with the mind free from fear and care. 24 Abandoning 
entirely all desires born of interest, rigorously curbing with 
his mind the multitude of senses, with his intellect held in a 
firm grasp, 25 little by little let him come completely to 
rest (in all the psycMcal functions), and enclosing his mind 
wholly in the self, let him no longer cherish any thoughts 
whatsoever. 26 But should the mind, wavering and unfixed 
(as it sometimes is) break loose in this direction or that, let 
him restrain it in all directions and bring it under the 
control of the self - 

^ yas, with K. 

VI. 27 ~ 5 <^] 



{A Gloss of Theistic Advaita^): 

2j For the highest happiness comes upon the yogin whose 
mind is calmed, m whom the will [rajas) is appeased, becoming 
Brahman and stainless. 28 The yogin, thus become stainless, 
ever training his self, easily attains the infinite happiness of 
union with Brahman. 2g He who is well trained in Yoga disci- 
pline, and in aU things sees only the one and the same, beholds 
his self in all beings and all bemgs in his self. 30 Whoso sees 
Me in all things, and sees all things in Me, I am not lost to him, 
nor IS he lost to Me. 31 He who, established in oneness, reveres 
Me as abiding in all things, may sojourn where he will: where’er 
he dwells, he dwells in Me. 32 And he who sees others like 
himself, and therefore sees in all things pleasure and pain (like 
his own), is the supreme 

33 Arjuna: 

Because of this ''unsteadiness'’ of manas I do not see how 
steadfastness, as persistence in this Yoga, which Thou hast 
expounded as equanimity, can be possible. 34 For verily 
our mind is unsteady, harassing, violent and obstinate. To 
curb it I think is as hard as to curb the ■jvind. 

55 The Supreme: 

Doubtless the inconstant mind is hard to curb. But by 
methodical effort and the surrender of desire one can grasp 
it. 36 Verily, I believe, for him who lacks strenuous self- 
discipline Yoga is hard to win. But the aspirant, who 
exerts authority over himself, can win it by applying the 
(methodical) means. 

(4): 57 Arjuna: 

If now someone (who has entered upon the path of Yoga), 
again wanders away and does not persist in endeavour, and 
therefore attains not the goal of Yoga, yet is endowed with 
faith, what befalls him? 38 Is he indeed lost, having 

1 Philosophic Non-duality. 

2 For an alternative version cf. p. 292. 


Xhe Original Gita 



wandered from both paths/ like a scattered cloud (lost in 
air), void of support, and wandering as to the way of 
Brahman?^ Sg Dispel this my doubt utterly, for no other 
save Thee can do so. 

40 The Supreme Exalted One: 

Neither on this side, nor beyond, O Partha, is such a one 
destroyed. For no one who practises the virtue (of faith) 
will fare evilly. 41 Such a one who has indeed fallen from 
Yoga (but abides in faith) comes, (according to the merit 
of his faith), to the worlds of those who have acquired 
merit. After he has dwelt there for long ages (he must 
indeed return to rebirth in this world, but) he is then bom 
anew in a house of pure and high-born people. 42 Or he 
comes even to the family of high-bom yogins : yet such a 
birth in this world is harder to win. 43 Here he acquires 
anew the same grade of intelligence which he had in his 
former life. Then he continues his effort (at that time 
interrupted) to the# complete end. 44 For his effort, pre- 
viously undertaken, (now operates) as a compulsion which 
draws him towards the right way. (Whence it follows that) 
even the mere student of Yoga advances beyond the Vedas 
(and whatever these can impart). 43 But the yogin (who 
not merely believes and studies Yoga doctrine, but) who 
strives with all his power, having become after many 
rebirths a (perfect) siddha, purified from stain, goes the 
highest way. 46 Higher than "'penitents'', higher than 
the ""men of knowledge”, higher than the persons of 
Karma-mdrga,^ is he held. — ^Therefore, Arjuna, become a 

^ He wandered from the Vedic path when he entered upon the 
Yoga way, and from, the Yoga path when he relinquished his striv- 
ing’ cf. Hill’s Note.#^ 

^ Here again this simply means ‘‘the way of salvation”. 

^ The “path” or “way” of Karma, 



{B: The Higher Stage: Bhakti Theology). 

(j) : 4y But of all yogins I hold him to be yogin most 
completely who, his innermost self directed towards Me, 
worships Me in faith. 


[knowledge of the lord] 

I (Therefore) hearken (again) to Me; when thou dost prac- 
tise Yoga with thy mind attached to Me and trusting in Me, 
thou mayest without doubt know Me entirely, 2 I will 
declare to thee fully this knowledge and understanding; 
once thou knowest it, nought else remains for thee, (except 
this), that is worthy to be known. 3 (For) among thousands 
of human beings, but some one individual strives for S'lddhi 
[success], and even of the strivers who have become siddhas, 
(but some) one individual knows Me in ,|:eality. 

4 Earth, water, fire, air, aether, mind, intellect, and the 
thought of I [(individuality)] are My ''Nature'' in its eight- 
fold division,^ 5 and verily My lower Nature. But know 
too My other {higher) Nature — ^that of the Soul, by which the 
world is sustained. 6 Mark thou — ^m these two all beings 
have their source. (Through these) I (Myself) am the 
origin and the dissolution of the whole world; 7 there is 
nothing higher than L On Me all "this" (worldly being) 
is strung, like strings of pearls on the thread. . . . 

(A Gloss in the sense of Treatise VIII): 

5 I am taste in water, splendour in moon and sun, OM in all 
the Vedas, sound in aether, maleness in men, 9 pure smelt in 

1 [These are the forms which unmanifested Nature takes when 
it becomes manifested. They appear to be ^ early classification, 
which was elaborated into twenty-four. A longer list is given in 
XIII. 5, which almost coincides with that of classical Sdnkhya,'] 



earth, brilliance in fire, life in all beings, (magic) power in the 
penitent; 10 know that I am the eternal Power of the seed of 
aU beings, the intellect of the intelligent, the brilliance of the 
brilliant, ii I am the strength of the strong, in so far as he is 
free from desire and passion; I am the love instinct in beings, 
in so far as it remains within the bounds of the Law. 

. . . and know that all natures that are of (the three 
gunas), saliva y rajas, lamas, [the constituents of goodness, 
passion and dullness]^ are only from Me, yet so that I am 
not in them (and disappear), but they are in Me. 13 Owing 
to these natures being formed of the gunas, all these (un- 
enlightened) persons are deluded, and know not Me (behind 
and above the play of the gunas), as the changeless that is 
distinct from these. 14 For this My divine Maya [delusion], 
sustained by the gunas, is hard to grasp; only they who 
take their refuge in Myself overcome it. 

(2) : 15 Evil doers, these lowest of men, do not take refuge 
in Me, their knowledge (of Myself) carried away by their 
infatuation with Mdyd, because they have betaken them- 
selves to a diabolical (vicious) nature,^ 16 but those who 
do good worship Me. There are four kinds of these: the 
afflicted, he who strives for gain,^ the seeker after knowledge, 
and the possessor of knowledge.^ ly Of these four the 

1 [In material natures these appear as lightness, motion, and 

2 The play of the creative Power that operates as the gunas (as 
constituents of Nature) blinds them to the One Who possesses this 
Power. Consequently, they become philosophical Naturalists. 
But this is the fault of their own vicious character. 

® [Sankara interprets as dhanakamo 'desirous of wealth'". There 
are here four stages of people, one who has suffered losses, one who 
desires something better, one who wants something good but does 
not necessarily know what it is, and one who does know.] 

^ This fourfold division becomes a permanent arUculus in the 
ordo saluhs of Bhakti theology, and had indeed long been so when 
this was written. Tfie "afficted" one is he who is distressed, especi- 
ally he who suffers the evil of Samsdra; the one "who strives for 
gain" is devout and so far upright, but he needs God merely for 



possessor of knowledge, (that is to say) he who is ever devout 
and loves Me alone, is pre-eminent; for to such a one I am 
dear beyond all, and (therefore) he is dear to Me. 18 Eminent 
indeed are all these four (in preference to the godless of 
V, J5), but the fourth I esteem^ as My own Self. He has, 
with self-composure, entered upon the way of all ways : the 
way to Me. ig Having become, at the end of many births, 
a man of knowledge, he approaches Me with the confession: 
“Vasudeva is q 1 V\ One so exalted is hard to find.^ 

20 Those (who lack ''self-composure'', and) whose know- 
ledge is carried away by various desires, resort to other 
(lower) divinities; compelled by their own nature, they 
follow now this, and again that, precept (of religion). 
21 But whoso wishes, with (true) devotion and faith, to 
worship any form (of the gods), whichever this may be, I 
Myself render this faith of his firm (and successful as regards 
his desires). 22 Armed with such a faith he strives to 
propitiate (his own individual god), and thence receives his 
desires. But it is by Me alone that^ they are bestowed. 
23 For merely finite is the fruit which these men of little 
insight desire, and those who sacrifice to devas attain only 
to their devas, only to the siddhas the worshipper of the 
siddhas, only to spirits they who sacrifice to spirits.® 24 The 
unwise imagine Me, the imperceptible, as having become 
perceptible, not knowing My highest Nature, changeless and 
absolute.^ 25 For I am not manifested to everyone, being 

his own purposes and does not seek Him for His own sake, "the 
seeker after knowledge" has started on the right way, while "the 
possessor of knowledge" has travelled far along it. As for Ramanuja, 
"knowledge" is here to be understood as eka-BhakH; — ^devotion to 
One alone. • 

^ matah, with K. 

2 The author has just explained that God, in virtue of His two 
Natures, is "all". » With K. 

^ These are the philosophical Naturalists, ^ho believe that God 
IS merged within Nature, in the play of the gunas, and identify God 
with external Nature. 



enveloped by My Maya of miraculous Power. Deluded 
thus, this world knows Me not as the unborn and changeless, 
26 and while I know all beings, past, present and future, 
no one knows Me; 27 rather do all beings fall into delusion 
by their very birth, and indeed through the delusive power 
of the “pairs'', which arises from inclination and aversion 
(to worldly things). 28 But they in whom evil has ceased, 
being persons of pure actions, are released from delusion 
by the “pairs" and, steadfast in their service, worship Me. 
29 They who strive for release from old age and death, in 
(simple) trust in Me, (require no sublime theology nor 
speculation, but) know by its means ''Brahman'' complete 
and "Adhydtmam" and all "Karman" [Brahma complete as 
present in the self, and all action]. 30 They who know Me 
as " Adhidaivam" , also as " Adhibhutam" and as "Adhiyajha" 
[as present in the gods, as present in beings, and as present 
in the sacrifice], and also at the time of their departure, 
which alone is true knowledge, with trained minds. . . . 


[the lord as brahma the imperishable] 

{A Gloss): 

I Arjuna: 

What is “that Brahman" y what that "Adhydtmam" y what is 
"Karman" and "Adhibhutam", which has been spoken about? 
[that present in the self, action, present in beings]. What is that 
which is called " Adhidaivam" [present in the*gods]» 2 Of what 
nature is>"Adhiyajna"l [present in the sacrifice] and who is the 
Adhiyajha, here in this body?^ And how art Thou to be known 
in the hour of deaths 


1 This question, however, has not yet been propounded. 

VIII. 3-91 lord as brahma THE IMPERISHABLE 71 

3-4 The Supreme: 

'‘Brahman'*'^ means the Aksharcm^ [indestructible] as the 
Supreme. Its Nature is expressed by ''Adhydtmam'' [present 
in the self]. The creative Power of that which effects the origin 
of the substances of creatures is called ''Karmm''^] ''Adhibhu- 
tam” [present in beings] is the perishable substance (of creatures).^ 
Adhidaivatam [the present in the gods] is the primeval Furusha 
[Person]^; \h& Adhiyajhas [the present in the sacrifice] is I Myself 
(Krishna) here in My body.® 

{3, a): . . .5 and who goes forth, thinking solely on Me 
in the last hour, attains My Being after leaving the body; 
of that there is no doubt. 6 For verily, on whatever mode 
of Being one thinks at the end, when he abandons the body, 
to that very Being he attains, since he is now in the form 
thereof. 7 Therefore at all times’^ think upon Me, and fight. 
With mind and intellect directed towards Me, then surely 
shalt thou come to Me. 8 For, (as indeed an ancient hymn 
declares), whoso thinks ever upon Him goes to the supreme 
divine Spirit, with his mind trained by methodical Yoga 
and not following after another.® 

(Thus the hymn) : 

9 He who thinks upon a Wise Being, 

Ancient, disposer of all things. 

More minute than the minute. Creator of all things, 

^ [Brahma as the one reality is neuter. Brahma (masculine) is 
a god, and like the other gods only one manifestation of Krishna 
or the real, as in xi 13.] 

2 This is an ancient scholastic term for the transcendent and 
impersonal Brahman. 

® But the writer of vii, 29, certainly did not assign this meaning 
to the word. ^ But this is quite impossible. 

® [Purusha is the usual term in Sdnkhya for the self]; cf. also 
p. 248. , 

® But this doctrine never appears in The Gita. 

^ “At all times”: then shalt thou succeed also in having Me in 
thy mind in the critical last moments. (Sridhara ) 

s This verse is intended to introduce an ancient hymn about 
the “supreme divine Spirit”, authoritatively substantiating what 



Inconceivable in Form, bright as the sun, beyond the 
darkness — 

JO With unshaken mind, at the time of his departure. 
Armed with love as with the power of Yoga, 

Making his breath duly pass between his eyebrows, 
Goes to that divine, supreme, primeval Spirit. 

II That region^ will I shortly declare to thee,^ 

Which knowers of the Vedas call “indestructible’', 
Attained by the strivers freed from desire, 

Yearning for which they live in sacred chastity. 

(This means) : 

12-13 He who closes all the outlets of the emanating 
outer senses, and restraining the inner sense within the 
heart, fixing the breath of life in his own head, (behind the 
midpoint between the brows), uttering OM, Brahman^ the 
one syllable, practising the Yoga method of fixing the 
thoughts and ever thinking on Me, when thus he goes forth 
abandoning the body, goes the highest way.^ 14 By such 
a yogin, ever trained, whose mind is never elsewhere, who 
thinks on Me, I am easily attainable. 15 Once these noble 
ones have attained to Me and thus arrived at the highest 
goal, they shall not undergo rebirth, this condition of pain 
and inconstancy. 16 (All) the worlds, even the world of 

^ This ‘‘region’* is the oft-named “highest place of Vishnu”, 
where one is eternally with Vishnu in the divine mode of Being — 
— the Avyakta-Bhava, described by the writer of this Treatise 
in V. 20. 

2 It is obvious that the hymn must have included a description, 
however brief, of this “highest place of Vishnu”, though the author 
omits to cite it. But in the following verses he comments on the 
hymn. ^ 

® Here Brahman is to bQ understood in its primitive sense of the 
sacred word. 

^ Verses 12 and 13 form a commentary on the first three lines of 
the second strophe of^the hymn, 14 to 16 on the fourth line; xy-21 
comment on its third strophe — on the divine mode of Being in 
Vishnu’s “highest place”. 

VIII. i 6-23\ lord as brahma THE IMPERISHABLE 73 

Brahma, must return again, but he who has once attained 
to Me undergoes rebirth no more. 

( 6 ) : J 7 He who^ knows that a day of Brahma endures for 
a thousand ytigas [ages], and likewise a night of Brahma 
a thousand knows what ''day and night'' is. 18 At 

the coming of "day" all manifestations proceed from the 
unmanifested, and at this "nightfall" they are again dis- 
solved into this unmanifested, ig These manifestations 
are this host of (visible individual) beings. This host, after 
it has repeatedly (in the succession of rebirths) entered into 
existence, is ultimately (as has been said) dissolved at the 
coming of "night" into the "unmanifested"; likewise it 
proceeds anew, in accord with necessity (and law), from the 
"unmanifested" at break of "day". 20 But higher than 
this unmanifested there is yet another state of Being, un- 
manifested, which verily changes not This perishes not, 
even when all things perish, 21 and therefore this unmani- 
fested is called the indestructible unmanifested.^ They call 
this the supreme way, for whoso attain? to this returns not. 
This means "My supreme abode" (in the fourth strophe of 
the hymn). 

(c) : 22 But Purusha (of whom the hymn speaks in the 
first strophe) is "the Highest",^ Who is attained by un- 
divided love (Bhakti) ; in Him abide all beings and by Him 
is OM supported. 

{A Mythological Gloss): 

23 Now will I declare to thee the time at whxch, when he 
departs, the yogin returns not, and the time at which, departing, 

^ ye, with K 

2 In later theologj^ this “unmamfested” is called iuddha-saitvam, 
because it is The supersensuous mode of Being; it is the substance 
from which Vishnu’s celestial body is composed In this one has 
the same form as God, ‘'excluding rule over the Universe”, which 
God reserves for Himself; cf. pp. 180, 221, 29^. 

® The highest form of deity, in which it is pure and absolute 



he must return. 24 Whoso departs by fire, light, day, the 
waxing moon, or the six months of the sun's Northern path, 
if he is a knower of Brahman (that is to say, orthodox), goes to 
Brahman. 2S By smoke, night, the waning moon, or the six 
months of the sun's Southern path — then the yogin goes to 
moonlight and must thence return. 26 These two ways, the 
'"light" and the “dark", are held to be the immutable paths of 
world (of man). By the former he goes to return not, by the 
other he returns. 

27 No yogin who knows these two paths, O Partha, is be- 
wildered by them. Therefore at all times be thou armed with 
Yoga.'^ 28 (As saith the poem) : 

The fruit of merit promised in the Vedas, 

In sacrifice, in penitence, in alms. 

Initiates leave behind, and pass 
As yog%ns to the highest primal realm. 


[the royal knowledge and secret] 

{A Gloss of a Dvaita Theologian).^ 

I The Supreme: 

But now I will tell to thee, because thou listenest willingly, 
this most secret knowledge and understanding; when thou hast 
attained it, thou wilt be released from evil. 2 It is royal know- 
ledge, the royal secret, the best means of purification, it is clearly 
intelligible, in accordance with Dharma [righteous], easy to 
perform, changeless, s He who believes not in this Dharma^ 

1 [This passage, 23-2^, has been held to be a late addition, but 
it is simply repeating the teaching found in several Upanishads 
{Brihaddr., vi. 2, 15; Chand,, v. 10, i; Praina, i. 4, 9) The Mahd~ 
bhdrata itself tells how Bhishma, when fatally wounded in the 
battle, practised Yoga and postponed his death, so that he might 
die at the auspicious time when the sun was in its northern course 
between the winter and the summer solstices.] 

2 On the general character of this Gloss cf. pp 2.22. ff. Dvaita 
is philosophical Duali;^. 

f This verse already exhibits the stern tone of the uncompromising 
Dvatta-vdda (doctrine) that is so characteristic of Madhva. 


[righteousness] must return to the path of death and Samsdra, 
because he has not attained to Me.^ 

4 (Hearken therefore): ''By Me in the form of the unmani- 
fested this All is permeated; in Me abide all beings, but I endure 
not in them — (thus hath it been said before; but yet more 
truly) 5 beings "abide'' not in Me, (in so far as this is believed 
to be any kind of participation in My Being). Know rather 
(My relation to them is solely that) My creative Power is their 
(far transcendent) Lord. "Creator" and "sustainer" of creatures 
am I, yet I Myself "abide" not in them.^ 6 But understand 
(My relation to them) thus: As the wind extends everwhere 
far into space, (without wind participatmg in the nature of 
space), (only) thus are all creatures m Me.® 

{4 ) : 7 (As I have said), all these beings come to an end 
in My own (lower) Nature, and at the beginning of a new 
Kalpa [world-cycle] I release them again (therefrom) . 
8 By means of the Nature, pertaining to Me, again and 
again I create this host of beings, which are of themselves 
devoid of will and of power in relation to the necessity of 
Nature (which depends on Me). 9 (But though I am thus 
incessantly active creatively), these actions bind Me not, 
since to these actions I remain indifferent and am not 
attached to them. 

(5): 10 Nature produces that which moves and that 
which moves not, and is also the cause of the world cycle 
(in ever new evolutions and involutions), hut under My care 
(and as My mask). 

^ The pompous terms of this brief Section indicate that an ex- 
tremely self-conscious and controversial tendency is attempting 
here to appropriate all that precedes for the purposes of its own 
scholastic orthodoxy — that of duahstic doctrine {Dvmta-vdda ) ; 
cf. pp. 222 jy. « 

2 [The LorS as Nature is the material cause of the world, and 
hence is immanent; but he is also transcendent.] 

® At this point the Glossographer again inserts his Dvaita Gloss, 
in order to immunize a priort the terms that immediately follow in 
the Treatise about Prakritt (Matter, or Nature) because they most 
emphatically stress the principle that, essentially, it pertains to God. 



II The deluded fail to recognize Me, because I have thus 
assumed the/om of Nature^ (as the form of My manifestation 
and operation), since they misjudge My transcendent 
essence — that of the (purely spiritual) Great Lord of all 
beings. 12 They are void of insight, and vain are their 
desires, their actions and thoughts, because of their demonic, 
and verily diabolical nature, which blinds them (to the 
actual conditions). 13 But the noble, because of their 
divine nature, know Me as the changeless origin of beings, 
and depend upon Me with single minds. 14 Ever praising 
Me, steadfast in service, striving, revering Me, they worship 
Me in increasing composure with Bhakti . . . [continued in 
V. 20), 

[A Gloss of the Brahman Theologian): 

15 Others practise the jndna-yajna [sacrificing with the 
sacrifice of knowledge] and worship Me *'as one or as several' h 
in unity and severalty in many forms, (as thus):^ 16 ‘T am 
the (Vedic) sacrifice, I am the (universal) sacrifice, the offering 
to the fathers am I, I am the (sacrificial) 'herb, the sacrificial 
formula, the sacrificial butter, the sacrificial fire, the offering 
in the sacrificial fire. ly I am the Father of this Universe, 
Mother, Creator, Ancestor, the Object of sacred knowledge, the 
means of purification, the uttering of OM and the Rig-Sama- 
Yajur-Veda,^ 18 the way, the supporter, the Lord, the witness, 

^ It seems quite clear to me that prakntim tanum must have been 
employed here, instead of the quite meaningless mdnushhn tanum. 
For there is no reference whatever to an avatar a (incarnation, 
literally, “descent’'), but only to God’s eternal activity under the 
mask of “Nature”, exactly as in several preceding Sections. I 
imagine that the same reviser who interpolated the Dvaita Glosses 
IS responsible for this modification m terms of an avatdra, smce to 
his mind this thoroughgoing identification of the divine “creative 
Power”, as the purely transcendent relation of Beity to the creature, 
with the operation of the processes of Nature, was absolutely 

^ In this respect, in fact, the examples that follow exhibit the dual 
aspect of Identity and Transcendence of the old Brahman. 

3 [The Veda of hymns, the Veda of chants, and the Veda which 
besides hymns contains sacnficial formulas.] 


the abode (of Being?), the friend, origin, duration^ and dissolution 
(of the Universe), the changeless seed of life, ig I heat (the 
LFniverse), I hold back the rain and send it forth streaming. 
I am immortality and death. Being and Non-Being am T\ 

20 (This verse refers to the Veda sacrificers) : 

They who know the three VedaSy purified by drinking 

Sacrificing to Me, entreat the way to Heaven. 

Verily, they attain to Indra's world of merit,^ 

And gain the heavenly bliss divine. 

21 And when they have enjoyed the spacious world of 


And their merit is exhausted, again they return. 

Thus he who, cherishing desires, follows the Vedic law, 

Finds only incessant going and coming, 

22 (But referring to the Ihaktas) *. 

A sure possession^ [the gaining of peace] ^ I bring to those 
who, thinking on Me with single heart, worship Me and so 
are ever bound to Me, * 

23 But he who, as the servant of other deities, sacrifices 
to them, if he does this in faith, sacrifices to Me alone, 
though not according to the manner prescribed of old. 
24 For I alone am the receiver and the Lord of all sacrifices. 
But they know Me not in truth, and hence they fall (back 
into Samsdra). 23 They who worship devas go to the 
devasy to the fathers those who worship the fathers, to the 

1 StMnam: is this due to the verse, in place of sthtU, which usually 
is found regularly with prabhava and pralaya ? 

2 The celestial worlds, attained by ritual desert. 

® Indra's. 

^ Instead of the continuous "'going and coming’' of the Yeda- 
servers. * 

s \Y ogakshema. This is a word with a long history, which has 
changed its meaning more than once In ii. 45, it is something to 
be avoided, and there means, according to §g,nkara, the protecting 
of what has been gained. In Buddhist texts it means mvvanay and 
probably has that meaning here in the sense of final goal.] 



spirits they who sacrifice to spirits. Likewise, they who 
sacrifice to Me go to Me. 

(6 : Praise of Bhakti.) 

26 If one with Bhakti offers Me only a leaf, a flower, a 
fruit, or water,^ I graciously accept this, because it is 
offered with Bhakti, as though coming from a devout mind. 
27 Whatever thou doest, or eatest, or givest or sacrificest, 
whatever austerity thou dost pursue, do that as an offering 
to Me. 28 Thus shalt thou be released from the bonds of 
Karman, which are the consequences of both good and evil 
actions. Armed with this Yoga which is (also true) 
Sannyasa [renunciation] and freed by this, thou shalt come 
to Me. 29 For (while, moreover, I) am of even mind towards 
all beings and cherish aversion or inclination to none, yet 
they who adhere to Me with Bhakti abide in Me and I also 
in them. 30 Verily, even if he is an evil liver, but adheres 
to Me with undivided Bhakti, he must be held devout, for 
through Bhakti he has become a man of ‘'just resolution*'.^ 
31 (In virtue of this resolution) he quickly becomes of 
righteous soul and attains eternal peace. — Mark this, O son 
of Kunti, My bhakta is not destroyed. 32 Those also of 
base birth, even women, vaisyas and kudras,^ if only they 
take their refuge in Me, go the highest way, 33 how much 
more pure brahmans and royal sages, if they are bhaktas. 
Therefore worship Me, since thou hast entered this imper- 
manent, sorrowful world, 34 keep Me in thy heart, be My 
bhakta, sacrificing to Me. Reverence Me. To me alone 
shalt thou go if thou, thus training thyself, makest Me thy 
highest goal. 

^ matkarmmi in its technical sense. 

2 Through this he has become “a convert''. I have previously 
commented on the analogy between ''firm resolution" and our own 
ideas about reformation, penitence and conversion. 

[The agricultural and trading class, and the servile class.] 

X. J-7] 




[the lord’s vastness] 

(Resumption of The Original Gita, interrupted at ii. 57 : 
Krishna reveals himself to Arjuna as God, "from Whom 
everything arises”, and demands Arjuna’s service.) 

I The Supreme Exalted One: 

Now hear further My supreme^ utterance: because thou art 
dear to Me, I will proclaim it to thee for thy good. 

2 Neither the hosts of devas nor the great rishis [sages] 
know My source. (For) altogether more ancient than they 
am 1 . i He who knows Me as the unborn, the beginningless, 
the great Lord of the world, he among mortals, free from 
delusion, is released from all sins.® 

4 From Me alone arise of beings the manifold states of 
mind: power of decision, judgment (biuddhi)^ knowledge, 
purity of spirit, capacity to endure, true insight, discipline, 
serenity, pleasure and pain, well-being^ and distress,® fear and 
reliance, 5 compassion, equanimity, contentment, self-con- 
trol, doing good, glory and infamy. 6 (Likewise the primeval 
beings), the seven great rishis and the four Manus^ (arose 
only) from Me, generated by My Spirit; (and) from them 
descend these creatures in the world.’ 7 He who knows in 

1 The ''utterance” concerning the indestructibility of the spiritual 
being, the appeal to martial duty and honour, were exalted, but these 
were not the "supreme utterance” , this, rather, is that Arjuna should 
attain the "insight” oi v S (the lack of which has been censured in 
II. jj) that God, Who has descended as Krishna, demands Arjuna's 
reverence and sermosk, since He is Ruler of all. 

2 This refers to Arjuna’s sorrow over his sm 

® Arjuna believed that he himself possessed this. 

* hhava — well-being; Apte’s Dictionary, 6. s Want, ibid., 2 . 

® [Manu is the first man at the beginning of ^ch new race of beings. 
The four are four ancient sages.] 

’ God alone therefore, and not Arjuna, must determine its fate. 


truth this manifestation of My Might and My creative Power 
is armed with imshakable constancy.^ 

5 I am the source of all, from Me everything arises®— 
Whoso has insight knows this. And with this insight he 
worships Me, impressed by awe.® — 

The Original Gltd is resumed in XI . 

(A Gloss of the Bhakti Theologian): 

9 They who have their minds on Me, and have turned their 
hfe to Me, are happy and blessed, since they enlighten one 
another and converse about Me. 10 To those who are ever 
and wholly devout I impart BvMhi-YogaA [the Yoga of the 
intellect] whose foundation is love (to Me). Through this they 
attain to Me. 11 Abiding within their own being,® to manifest 
My grace I expel the darkness bom of ignorance with the flamin g 
lamp of knowledge. 

(Treatise VIII ^x. 12-^'. an interpolated Hymn in Praise 
of Krishna.) 

12 Arjuna: , 

The supreme Brahman, the supreme abode, the highest 
means of purification art Thou; the primal, divine Purusha, 
the first of gods, the unborn, omnipresent, 13 thus all 
seers speak of Thee, and likewise Narada the messenger of 
the gods, Asita, Devala, Vyasa, and Thou Thyself tellest 
me. 14 All this I believe to be true, O Ke^ava, because 

^ Arjuna lacks this, because he does not perceive the control of 
the Ruler of all. 

^ Even this fearful slaughter, on which Arjuna must pass no 

® This is the first demand to Arjuna, to obey God. 

^ The “firmly founded wisdom" of the powe?; of resolution, which 
has already been indicated, in ii. 5^ jf,, as the characteristic feature 
of Yoga. It is equally valid for Bhakh-Yoga, although it has here 
the cantas praecedms as its presupposition. 

5 Here Krishna is pot merely the divine teacher of salvation, as 
in Sa-Uvara-Yoga, but He is the redeeming light of salvation 

X. 14-211 



Thou hast proclaimed it to me,^ for even devas and ddnavas^ 
understand not Thy visible appearance. 15 Only Thou 
Thyself knowest Thyself through Thyself, 0 Highest Spirit, 
Creator of beings, Lord of spirits, God of gods, Ruler of the 
world. 16 Deign then to tell me in full of Thy glorious Self- 
manifestations, in which Thou abidest permeating these 
worlds. 17 For how shall I myself comprehend Thee, the 
heavenly Yogin,‘^ however much I brood? In which of the 
different forms of Being may I think upon Thee, 0 supreme 
One?^ 18 Tell me more at length^ of Thy wondrous Power 
and (especially) of Thy Self-manifestation,® for I am never 
sated with hearing Thy ambrosial words. 

ig The Supreme: 

Come, I will tell thee of My glorious manifestations, yet 
only of the chief of these, because to tell thee all about 
Myself would have no end. 

20 I am the Atrnm abiding within all beings; I am the 
beginning, the middle, and the end of. beings. 21 Of the 
Adityas^ I am Vishnu, of shining beings the gleaming sun, 
Mariki of the winds, the moon among the constellations, 

^ I believe Thy words absolutely, because I am not myself capable 
of comprehension; even Thy visible appearance gives me no insight, 
for .... 

^ [Supernatural beings hostile to the gods, reckoned as a class of 
asuras; the Daityas (v. 30) are another class. For the myth of the 
asuras see xvi ] 

® The mysterious worker of marvels. 

^ What objects, men, dev as or other entities must I interpret as 
manifestations of Thee ^ 

This is an attempt to connect the eulogy which immediately 
follows with the earlier Text. 

^ vtbhuH, in^later theology, a special type of hypostasis of Deity, 
together with the vyuhas or “emanations”. Here too it has the 
same significance. The optimum in every species is regarded as a 
h 3 rpostasis or self-manifestation of Deity. 

’ [A class of seven or eight Vedic gods; the names of the following 
gods are also Vedic.] 

The Original GttS. 




[X. 22-^33 

22 of the Vedas I am the Sdmaveda,^ of the devas India, 
of the senses I am the manas [mind], the consciousness of 
beings,^ 23 of the Rudras I am Sankara, of the Yakshas 
and Rdkshases^ Kubera, of the Vasus Agni [fire], and of 
mountains Meru. 24 Of household priests know that I 
am the foremost, Brihaspati, of generals I am Skanda, of 
waters the ocean, 25 of the great rishis Bhrigu, of words 
the one syllable OM, of sacrifices the murmured sacrifice, of 
firm-fixed things the Himalaya, 26 of all trees the Asvaitha- 
fig tree [sacred fig tree], of divine rishis Narada, of the 
gandharvas [heavenly musicians] Citraratha, of siddhas^ the 
muni Kapila, ^7 among horses know Me as Uccaih^ravas, 
sprung from ambrosia,® among king-elephants Airavata, and 
among men the Lord, 28 of weapons I am the thunderbolt, 
of cows the cow of desires, I am the begetter(?) Cupido, 
of serpents I am Vasuki, 29 I am Ananta of dragons, 
Varuna of water creatures, 30 I am Prahlada of the 
Dattyas, of the calculators Time, of wild beasts the lion, and 
Garuda of birds,® ,31 of purifiers the wind, I am Rama of 
those that bear the sword, of water monsters the crocodile, 
of streams I am the Ganges, 32 of creations the beginning, 
middle and end,*^ of sciences the science of the self, I am the 
dialectic® among (methods of) conducting controversies, 
33 of tones I am A, of the compound word the dvamdvam 

1 This high estimate of The Samaveda is frequently encountered; 
cf, Sanatsujataparvan, 43, 28: “m the pure Sama songs”. 

2 This is a striking expression, which may mean ”of the spiritual 
fundamental components”. 

^ [Classes of goblin-like spirits.] 

* [Those who have attained perfection in this life; Kapila is the 
traditional author of the Sdnkhya philosophy.] 

^ [The drink of immortality. When the gods chhrned the ocean 
to obtain the dnnk of immortality, other treasures were produced 
also, among them the horse and the cow of desires.] 

® [Garuda, the bird of Vishnu ] 

^ Therefore the three cardinal aspects of all creation. 

® vada^ with Hill and Sankara. 

X. 33-42] 



[copulative].^ — I alone am inexhaustible Time, I the 
Creator facing every way, 34 and I am Death sweeping 
away all, likewise the origin of all that shall be.. Of the 
Graces I am GlonUy Fortuna, SuAia, Memoria, Sapientia, 
Constantia, Patientia, 35 of the sacred melodies I am the 
Brihat, of metres the GdyaM,^ of the months I am January, 
of the seasons. Spring. 36 Of deceitful things I am the game 
of dice, the brilliance of the brilliant, victory, resolution, the 
excellence of the excellent, 37 of the Vrishnis Vasudeva,^ 
of the Pdndavas Arjuna, of the munis Vyasa, of seers U^anas. 
38 Of (instruments of) punishment I am the rod, I am 
statecraft among the means of victory, the silence of secrets, 
knowledge in the knowers. 39 Whatever is the power of 
the seed of all things, I am. Nor is there a creature that 
moves or moves not that may exist without Me. 40 No 
end is there of My glorious manifestations. But in place 
of a detailed enumeration I have given thee only divers 
examples of these. 41 Whatever manifests power, what- 
ever is excellent, sublime, mighty, kijow that always as 
having sprung from a portion of My splendour. 42 What 
(especially) profits thee now in this vast knowledge is that I 
abide, sustaining the whole Universe with one single portion 
of My Power. 

1 [A compound of two nouns, e,g. pampadam, ‘"hand and foot'".] 

® [A verse of twenty-four syllables, especially the verse in this 
metre, recited daily by brahmins, the Sdv%tyi: 

Upon that excellent glory 
Of God Savitar may we think. 

That he may stimulate our thoughts.] 

® [Vrishni was an ancestor in the family of Krishna. Vasudeva 
is a name of Krishna^ as the son of Vasudeva.] 



[XL j -9 


[the lord as all forms] 

(Resumption of The Original Gita, interrapted at X. 8.) 

I Arjuna: 

Thou hast proclaimed, in order to comfort me, the supreme 
secret of the true Self (and also its indestructibility).^ Through 
this Thy Word my bewilderment is gone from me, 2 for as 
it is appointed to beings to exist and to pass away, so verily 
has it been in my own experience.^ And likewise hast Thou 
taught me Thy imperishable Majesty.® 
j I desire to behold with my eyes this Thy Form as God, 
O Purushottama [O Highest Person], even as Thou Thyself 
hast (just) declared it, O Supreme Lord. 4 If, O Lord, 
Thou deemest that I am able to behold it, then show me 
Thyself as the Imperishable, O Lord of wondrous Power. 

5 The Supreme: 

“Behold then, O Partha, My hundredfold and thousandfold 
Forms, manifold, divine, of many colours and shapes: 

6 behold the Adilyas, Vasus, Rudras, the two Asvins and the 
Maruts. Behold many marvels, such as were never seen 

{A Gloss): 

7 Behold here in My Body, in unity, the entire world, whatever 
in it moves and moves not, and whatever else thou hast a wish 
to see. 

8 But thy bodily eye is too feeble to behold Me thus; the 
divine eye I give thee. Behold Me thus^ in My wondrous 
Power as Lord.” 

9 As He thus spake, Hari, the great God of wondrous 

^ This refers tp ii. 11-30, 

2 This refers specifically to strophes ii. 20; 22, 2g, 30. 

3 Section x. 1-8, 

XI . 9-18] 



Powetj allowed Partha to see His supreme Form as that of 
the Lord, 10 with manifold mouths and eyes, in divers 
wondrous aspects,^ wearing many divine adornments, with 
many divine weapons upraised, 11 in divine garlands and 
robes, anointed with divine scents. His countenance facing 
every way; a God, all marvellous, infinite. 12 The splendour 
of the Supreme was as though in the heavens the splendour 
of a thousand suns all together should blaze out. 

[A Gloss?): 

13 There, in the Body of the God of gods, Pandava saw in 
one the whole world manifoldly divided. 

14 Thereat was Arjuna filled with amazement; with hair 
on end, he clasped his hands, bowed down his head, and 
addressed God: 

{A Gloss?): 

15 I see all gods, 0 God, within Thy Body, 

And likewise (many kinds of) hosts of spirits: 

Brahma y the Lord upon the lotus-throne. 

The rishis all, and the divine snake-spirits 

16 Thyself behold I, wholly infinite, 

Unnumbered arms and bodies, mouths and eyes, 

(Having) no end, no middle, no beginning, 

I see Thee, Lord of all, aU forms possessing. 

17 Bearer of crown, of mace and discus, see I, 

A sea of splendour, shining all around 

On all sides, a sun-fiash of colossal flame. 

A prospect I can scarce endure. 

{A Gloss?): 

18 Thou are Ak^aramy^ wisdom's highest object, 

Thou oi this All th' exalted place of treasure, 

The changeless guardian of primeval Law, 

The primal Spirit of Eternity. So deem I Thee. 


^ With Hill. Or, with Garbe, “with many marvellous things to 
contemplate". ^ [The Eternal.] 


19 Without beginning, middle, end, infinite in Power, 
Numberless arms, the sun and moon Thy eyes. 

Thee I behold, with mouth of gleaming fire. 

With Thy own glow searing this Universe. 

20 Spanning both Earth and Heaven — ^their amplitude 
Thou fillest with Thyself, in every breadth. 

Seeing Thee thus, wondrous and dread of Form, 

The triple World, O Mighty One, is fiUed with awe. 

21 Humbly the hosts of gods draw nigh to Thee, 

In fear stand others here with folded hands. 

All Hail to Thee! cry Siddhas and the sages, 

H5mining Thy praise, all glorious, in their songs. 

22 All that’s ia Heaven and Earth, the clouds and winds. 
All life in air and sea, spirits and gods, 

Demons and Siddhas^ ancients, wondrous beings. 

Thee they behold, standing in fixed amaze. 

23 Colossal, many mouthed and many eyed. 

Unnumbered arms and legs, and feet and bodies, 
Brisding with horrid fangs. Thee the World sees. 

And stands, Lord, filled with horror, as do I! 

24 Reaching to Heaven, in many colours glowing. 

As there Thou standest, opening wide Thy mouths. 

Thy great eyes rolling! — I am seized with terror. 

My courage fails, I am o’erwhelmed, O Vishnu. 

25 Bristling with horrid fangs Thy mouths. 

Like to the flames consuming all the World. 

Where shall I flee! No shelter can I find. 

Be gracious. Lord of gods. Thou World sustainer. 

26 The sons of Dhritarashtra 

With aU thek hosts of warriors of the ^gs, 

Blushma and Drona, Kama of the foe, 

And of our own force all the finest heroes, 

2j In swiftest march! — ^Behold Thy fangs protruding! 

How terrible Thy mouths, shutting and opening! 

Heads crushed to pieces, there they are displayed. 

XI 27-553 


Pressed tight between Thy teeth, suspended there. 

28 Like as the streams of water, hurried onwards. 

Flow ever rushing downwards to the Ocean, 

So stream the heroes from the world of men. 

Into Thy mouths, glowing aU round with fire. 

29 As moths into the fierce flame of the lamp 
Impetuously swarm, to be destroyed. 

So crowd into Thy throats, to be destroyed 
Therein, the multitudes of men. 

50 For ever licking with thy flaming mouths. 

Thou dost devour them on all sides alike. 

Thy fearful glow scorches the utmost reaches. 

Filling the Umverse with flame, O Vishnu! 

31 Tell me, O Thou of dreadful Form, Who art Thou! 
Never can I conceive of Thy appearing. 

I do adore Thee, Prince of gods. Be gracious I 
Fain would I understand Thee, source of aU. 

32 The Supreme: , 

Kala am I, Destroyer, great and mighty. 

Appearing here all men to sweep away. 

And, without thee, would none of all these warriors. 
Here in their ranks arrayed, ever remain. 

33 Therefore arise, win glory, smite the foe. 

Enjoy thy lordship in prosperity. 

By Me alone have they long since been routed. 

Be thou nought but my tool, thou dexterous one. 

34 Drona and Bhishma too, and Jayadratha, 

And Kama with the others strong in battle. 

By Me already slain, slay thou. Be void of fear. 
Thine enemies thou shalt vanquish. — ^Fight thou on. 

35 Samjaya: 

Hearing Kesava’s words, trembling ^d shuddering. 
Clasping his hands, and humbly worshipping. 



The bearer of the crown thus spake to Krishna, 
Stammering and fearful, bowing down to Him. 

56 Arjuna: 

Rightly, O Hrishikesa, at Thy praises 
The Universe is gladdened and rejoices. 

Demons in terror seek the farthest spaces. 

While hosts of Siddhas to Thee do obeisance. 

[A Gloss}): 

J 7 Wherefore, 0 Great One, should they not bow down. 
Primal Creator, Thou, more sacred e'en than Brahma, 
Infinite, Lord of gods, the World containing. 

The Aksharam, Being, Non-Being, and yet more. 

38 Primeval God art Thou, the ancient Primal Spirit, 

The supreme treasury of this Universe, 

Knower, and known, Thou art the Highest State. 

The All pervading, infinite in Form. 

3g Vayu art Thou, Yama and Agni, Moon, 

Thou art Varuna, Prajapati and Brahma, 

Reverence to Thee, reverence a thousandfold. 

Reverence agairfto Thee, profounder reverence. 

40 Before Thee reverence, and behind Thee reverence. 

From all sides to Thee, Thou Who art the All, 

Infinite Power, unmeasured Energy, 

The All pervading, the All therefore art Thou. 

41 Howe’er imseemly Thee I may have hailed 

As comrade: — “O Krishna! Yadava, O Friend!” 
Heedless expressions, or e’en too familiar. 

Forgetful of this Majesty of Thine, 

42 Whate’er in jest I have spoken with irreverence, 
Wand’ring or resting, sitting down or eating. 

Alone with Thee, or in another’s presence. 

For that I crave Thee pardon, boundless Oue. 

43 Father art Thou of all that moves, or moves not. 

Most ven’rable, the World’s revered Guru, 

None is like Thee, much less is there a greater! 

In the three Worlds Thy Power hath no equal. 

XI. 44-5 o\ the lord AS ALL FORMS 89 

44 Therefore I bow, casting myself to earth, 

I would appease Thee, Lord, and worship Thee. 

As fathers sons, friends, friends,^ and as do lovers 
To those they love, O God, deign Thou to pardon. 

4$ Rejoiced to see what ne’er hath yet been seen. 

Still is my mind with fear quite overwhelmed. 

Show me again, O God, Thine ancient Form, 

Be gracious to me. Lord of gods. World Orderer. 

46 Wearing the diadem, holding mace and discus. 

As erst Thou wert, may I again behold Thee. 

That Form, four-armed One, manifest anew, 

O thousand-armed, O Figure universal. 

47 The Supreme Exalted One: 

Gracious to thee, have I this Highest Form 
Shovm thee, Arjuna, through My wondrous Power, 
Flaming and infinite, primeval, universal. 

Except by thee ne’er seen before by any. 

48 By Vedas, sacrifice, study or gift of,alms. 

By ritual, or e’en by gruesome penance. 

No one save thee, in aU this world of men. 

Can see Me in this Form, O best of Kurus\ 

49 Be not distressed, be not thyself bewildered. 

At thus this awful Form of Mine beholding. 

From fear released, with joyful mind, behold Me 
Again, and in that Form beheld aforetime. 

50 Samjaya: 

Thus to Arjuna, “Yea,” spake Vasudeva, 

And showed Himself anew in ancient Form. 

So the Supreme consoled the terror stricken. 

In friendly aspect once again returned. 

1 [Sankara treats this word as feminine. Mr. M. M. Bose thinks 
that it shows the development in Sankara’s Ijime of the sexualism 
of later schools. See The Post-Cattanya Sahajia Cult of Bengal, 
p. 146, Calcutta, 1930.] 



51 Arjuna: 

Now that I see Thee again in friendly human form^ O 
Janardana^ I have once more returned to my natural state of 
min dj and come to my senses again. 

(The Original GUd is resumed in XVIII. 58.) 

(Treatise I — xi. 52^x11. '*DharmydmritamT A Treatise 
on Prapatti-Bhaktii)'^ 

52 The Supreme: 

Very hard to see is this My Form, which thou hast beheld; 
even the devas yearn continually (but vainly) for the vision 
of this Form. 53 Not through the Vedas, not through 
austerity, not through almsgiving, and not through sacrifice, 
can I be seen thus, as thou hast seen Me. 54 But by 
undivided Bhakti can I be thus known and seen in reality 
and entered. 

(i): 55 He who does My action, he who turns towards 
Me as to his highest goal, who is My Bhakta, [devoted to 
Me], free from attachment (to things of sense), without 
hatred to any being, he comes to Me, O Pandava.^ 



(ii): I Arjuna: 

Which of the two is the more devout: those who in un- 
broken composure worship Thee as hhaktas, or those who 
worship the inconceivable Aksharam (Brahman)! [the 
imperishable, the unmanifested]. 


1 On the general character of this Treatise, and also the specifically 

religions type of PrapatU-Bhakti, cf. pp. 164 173 ff.; further, 

PP 298, 300, with regard to the preceding Theophany, and on 
D harmydmntam . 

2 [This verse is called by Sankara *The essence of the whole GUd- 

XII. 2-II] 



2 The Supreme: 

He who, filled with the deepest faith, places his mind in 
Me and worships Me in unbroken composure, I deem to be 
the best trained (the most devout). 3 But he who worships 
the Aksharam as the ''indefinable'', as the "unmanifested 
equally as the all-present", as the "unthinkable", as the 
"absolute, immovable, stable", (and in accord with the 
other speculative ideas of Brahman theology), 4 firmly 
restraining the troop of senses, maintaining equanimity 
(whatever befalls) and delighting in the good of all beings,^ 
(in the end) he attains to Me alone, 5 but greater is the 
trouble of those whose minds are thus attached to the 
abstract, for such an abstract way is hard to attain by 
beings who are burdened with corporeality. 

(ill) : 6 Whereas he who, casting all actions upon Me 
(the concrete and comprehensible God), turns to Me and 
worships Me, while he meditates upon Me in unbroken 
composure, 7 such a one, whose mind is placed wholly in 
Me, shall I straightway raise on high (with no toil nor 
intermediate states) from the ocean of death and Samsara. 
8 Set thy mind on Me alone therefore (and not on the 
Aksharam), place thy feelings in Me; in Me, Myself, shalt 
thou dwell hereafter, there is no doubt. 

9 But if thou canst not contentrate thy mind firmly on 
Me in this way, then by the methodical practice of Yoga 
strive to reach Me. 

10 But if thou art incapable of such practice, then be 
zealously intent on doing "My action", for if thou dost 
perform "the actions that are appointed for Me",^ thou wilt 
attain success. 

11 If thou ’'art unable to do even this, then (simply) take 

1 That is if he is no mere speculator, but also practises the Ethics 
of the Brahman way. [Both these classes r^orship the One, the 
imperishable, but the former are those who know that the One is 
the Lord.] ^ That is the acts of ritual service; cf. p. 299. 



thy refuge^ m My (saving) wondrous Power, ^ and practise 
hereafter^ (and in virtue of this complete resignation to 
My Power) in self-control the abandonment of the fruit of all 

(iv): For better is knowledge than Yoga technique, 

but far more excellent than knowledge is the devout mmd.^ 
For from the devout mind® there springs (spontaneously) 
the abandonment of the fruit of action, and close upon this 
abandonment of the fruit of action follows peace of soul.® 

(v: The sannydsin Ideal of Bhakh,) 

13 He who is without hatred to any being, who is friendly 
and compassionate therewith, free from selfishness and 
arrogance, level-minded in weal and woe, 14 patient, ever 
content, a firmly resolute self-controlled, with heart 

and mind dedicated to Me, My bhakta — he is dear to Me. 

15 He by whom the world is not provoked, and who is 
not provoked by the world, who is free from joy, anger, fear, 
emotion — ^lie is dear to Me. 

16 Expecting nothing, pure, strong willed, impartial, 
ever undaunted, remote from all undertakings. My bhakta — 
he is dear to Me. 

ly He who concerns himself neither in favour of anything, 
nor is averse from anything, who desires nothing for himself, 

^ This IS the Bhakti stage of PrapatU; c/. p. 174. ^ cf.p.iiy, 

3 Note tafas here. 

^ On dhyana (meditation) as Bhakh-Prapatti cf. p. 174. The 
pious disposition exists whenever man resigns himself wholly to the 
redeeming Power of God. 

® The Ablative, to indicate the reason; cf. taias in v, ii. 

® (The abandonment of actions is best, since when done completely 
it brings to the goal. Meditation is lower, for it is^ only a means. 
Knowledge, in the sense of knowledge of what the goal is, is lower 
still, for meditation has not yet begun, and still lower is exercise, 
which may be begun^without any knowledge of the true goal ] 

7 In view of all that has been said previously, this can virtually 
be stated in BhakU terms as *‘the thoroughly converted pious man". 



and no longer questions as to good and bad, My bhakta — 
he is dear to Me. 

i 8 He who is the same to foe and friend, honour and dis- 
honour, to heat and cold, maintaining equanimity in 
pleasure and pain, and freed from attachment, ig silent 
whether praised or blamed, even-minded, content, whatever 
may befall, without a home, firm in faith and filled with 
Bhakti — ^he is dear to Me. 

20 But he who sincerely follows this “excellent law’’, 
as it is here proclaimed, devoted to Me in lhakta faith — ^he is 
dearest of all to Me. 


[the field and the KNOWER OF THE FIELD] 

(Treatise IV — xiii. Sa-Uvara-S 

1 The Supreme: 

(i): This (physical) body is called “the field''; and that 
which knows it (the spiritual subject) is called, by those who 
understand, “the knower of the field". ^ 

{A Gloss): 

2 Know too that I am the Knower of the field with regard to 
all fields. Knowledge of the field and of the Knower of the 
field, that is knowledge indeed, I deem, (of what it concerns). 

3 Hear now from Me in brief {a) What the field is and 
how it is formed, what its changes are and whence it is, and 
(&) Who the of the field is and what His Power is. 

^ As with Yoga, here Sankhya associated with Isvara; cf. p. 191. 

2 [Some MSS. insert the following as the first verse: Arjuna said: 
Nature and the Person, the field and the knower of the field, this I 
wish to know, and also knowledge and that whfch should be known, 
0 Ke^ava.] 



{A Gloss): 

4 The nshis have often divided it and expounded it in different 
sacred songs and also in the Brahma-Sutras,^ which, being 
accompanied by argument, are fully confirmed. 

{a ) : 5 The field with its transformations is described thus : 
undeveloped primal Matter, huddh% (emanating therefrom), 
the principle of the self, the (five) great elements, the ten 
faculties (in the form of the five perceptual senses and the 
five demonstrative capacities), the one (manas) [(mind)], 
and the five fields of the senses, 6 also (motives) for in- 
clination and aversion, pleasure and pain, and the com- 
bination (of all these factors) as the foundation of (empirical) 

(6): 7 ''Knowledge' is described as: humility, honesty, 
forbearance, pity, uprightness, readiness to serve the 
teacher, purity, strength of character, self-restraint, 
8 freedom from passion for the objects of sense and from 
self-sufficiency likewise, insight into the evils of birth, 
death, old age, sickness, pain, 9 hating nothing, freedom 
from attachment to son, wife, home, invariable equanimity 
whether events are desired or undesired, jo unchanging 
Bhakti to Me in unbroken concentration, sojourning in 
lonely places, dislike for the company of men, ii constancy 
in the knowledge of the true self, insight into the object of 
knowledge of the real. — ^Whatever is different from this 

1 [This is the name of the authoritative work of the Vedanta 
system, in which the principles are stated in siitras (short aphoristic 
statements), but these sutms as we now possess them mention 
Buddhist and other doctrines certainly later than The Song. The 
name Vedanta, *'end of the Vedas'\ probably existed earlier than the 
system as a name for the teaching of the Upai^tshads, as in xv. jj.] 

^ This is the “Power"' of the Knower of the field, which according 
to V. 3 was to be described. The abstract jndna of pure Sdnhhya is 
here edifyingly reinterpreted and expanded by Sa-Uvam-Sdnhhya. 
Certainly this involyes no “transitional stage" of Sdnhhya as such, 
but rather the attraction, into the sphere of theology, of abstract 
concepts that have originated elsewhere. 



jnana, (or contrary thereto) is described as ajMna 
[ignorance] .... 

(A Gloss of the Brahman Theologian): 

12 What that which should be known is, I will declare to thee : 
whoso has understood this has attained freedom from death. 
It is the supreme Brahman, without beginning, which is called 
Being and Non-Being. 13 With hands and feet, with eyes, 
head and vision, with hearing, on all sides it abides in the world 
enveloping everything. 

14 Appearing with all the senses and attributes, still it is (in 
truth) free from all the senses (and attributes) , in contact with 
nothing, it still supports everything; without gunas, still it is 
the enjoyer of the gunas, 15 inside and outside beings, immovable 
and yet movable, through its subtlety imperceptible, abiding 
far away, nevertheless most closely near; j 6 not divided 
in itself, it abides in beings as though it were divided. It 
should be known as the supporter, but also as the devourer 
and the generator (anew). ly Light of lights, exalted over 
darkness it is called. As the Knower, as the object of knowledge, 
as attainable by knowledge, it abides concealed in all hearts. 
18 Thus the field, knowledge and the object of knowledge have 
been shortly told. When My devotee has understood this, he 
attains to My mode of Being. 

(ii) : . . . jp Primal Nature and the Spirit,^ know both 
as without beginning. Know too that the changes (products) 
and likewise the gunas which constitute these arise from 
(this) Primal Nature. 20 It is the ground of the possibility 
of activity (pertaining not to Spirit, but) to the product 
(of Nature) and its factors;^ whereas Spirit is the ground of 
possibility of the enjoyment of weal as of woe. 21 For the 
Spirit, abiding in Nature, is the enjoyer of the gunas ori- 
ginating from Nature; when it is attached (in enjoyment) to 
these gunas, it is, (constantly) reborn from the womb of 
good or bad mothers. 22 This supreme Spirit, (when 

1 These have been described, according to the ‘'programme'', in 
vv. 4-6, 7-jj. ^ 

^ Guilt arises not from the spirit, but from the body and the 
factors (of Nature) that produce it. (Garbe ) 



abiding) in this body, is called (by the learned) : spectator, 
approver, supporter, enjoyer, the great Lord, the highest 

(ill, a) : 23 He who thus knows the Spirit and Nature 
with its gunas, in whatever condition he may abide, is not 
born again. 

(6) : 24 Some (the contemplative) know this Self (that is, 
this Spirit) in Itself, by means of Itself,^ others know It 
by means of the (intellectual) Sdnkhya method, others again 
by means of Karma-Yoga \Yoga of action]. ^ 25 And yet 
others, unable to attain knowledge for themselves in any of 
these ways, hear from others about the Self and dedicate 
themselves to Him; but they also overcome death, if only 
they be wholly intent upon the doctrine. 

(c): 26 Now know that whatever creature arises, im- 
mutable or mutable, arises through the union of this ''field'' 
with "the Knower of the field". , . . 

{A Gloss): 

27 The highest Lord that abides in all beings alike, that 
perishes not in the perishable — ^he who sees Him thus sees truly. 
28 For he who sees the Lord in all beings alike, smites not the 
Self through the self and hence he goes the highest way. 

... 29 and that all actions whatsoever are produced 
only by Nature. He who thus sees the Self as a non-actor, 
sees truly. . . . 

(A Gloss): 

30 He who sees the separate existence of beings abiding in 

1 That is to say, through the direct consciousness of the self about 
itself that emerges in contemplation, and without the intermediacy 
of the anumdna reflection of Sdnkhya (inference), or the technique 
{Karma) of Yoga, 

2 [The three methods of reaching the goal are here referred to as 
Yoga\ Yaga-practice proper, the Sdnkhya method of reflecting on 
the distinction between the self and Nature, and the method of 
abandoning the fruit of actions.] 

^ This is confirmation of ahimsd (non-tnjury), by the identity 
of the Brahman- Atman in the smiter as well as in the smitten. 

XIII. 30~X.IV, 4 ] the three CONSTITUENTS 07 

One, and development (into separateness) as having originated 
from this (One) , attains to Brahman 

, . . Because this Supreme Self is without beginning 
and without gunas, therefore it is changeless, and even when 
abiding in the body (which acts) it acts not and is not defiled. 
32 (For) as space, extending everywhere, owing to its 
‘"subtlety"' (that is to say, its immateriality), is not defiled 
(by what occurs in it), so also the self, although abiding in 
every portion of the body, is nevertheless not defiled. 33 As 
the one sun illumines the whole world, so the Lord of the 
field illumines His whole field. 

{d ) : {In summd ) : 34 Even so they who, with the eye of 
knowledge, know the difference between the field and the 
Knower of the field, and (in this way possess the means for) 
the release (of the self) from the elements and (the whole of) 
Nature, go to the highest (goal). 


[distinction of the three constituents] 

(Treatise II — ^xiv-xv. Sa-Sdnkhya-Bhakti.f- 
I The Supreme Exalted One: 

Again will I proclaim to thee the highest of knowledges, 
by possessing which all munis have attained from here the 
highest goal. 2 Whoso, sustained by this knowledge, has 
attained a mode of Being like Mine, is not reborn even at 
the (re) creation (of the Universe), nor need he fear at the 
dissolution of the Universe, 

(i) : 3 My Wbmb*is the great Brahman : therein I place the 
germ (of life). Thence is the arising of all beings. 4 (For) 

^ BhakU and Sankhya associated together, as with the earlier 
instances. On the general character and arrangement of this 
Treatise cf, pp. 177 Jf, 

The Original Gita ' G 



whatever forms arise in all (separate) wombs, the great 
Brahman is the (primal) womb of them (all) ; but I am the 
Father (of them all). Who gives the seed. 5 From the 
(undeveloped) Prakriti, (the great Brahman), arise the three 
“strands” [gunas), called satixam, rajas, tamas. They hind 
the changeless (spiritual) subject, which possesses the body, 
to the body. 6 Of these three “strands”, saitvam is spot- 
lessly pure, and therefore light-giving and healthy, but even 
it hinds through its attachment to well-being, and also to 
knowledge. 7 Know that rajas is the principle of pas- 
sionate desire; it creates the thirst (for pleasure) and 
adherence (to the objects of sense); it binds through 
adherence to action. 8 Know that tamas is generated from 
ajndna,^ and is what deludes all spiritual subjects; it binds 
through indolence, inertia and sloth. 9 Saitvam fastens 
(the spirit) to well-being, rajas to action, and tamas to 
indolence, since it veils jhdnam. 

10 Sattuam flourishes^ when it gains the mastery over 
rajas and tamas, rajas when it overcomes saitvam and tamas, 
and tamas when it subverts saitvam and rajas, ii When 
through all the doors of this body light shines — ^in the form 
of jndna — then we know that “sattvam” has been streng- 
thened. 12 Whenever “rajas” has been strengthened, there 
arise greed, the urge to activity, undertaking of actions, 
restlessness and all kinds of desire. 13 Whenever “tamas” 
has been strengthened, there arise (intellectual) darkness, 
inertia, indolence, delusion. 

14 If the embodied one dies when sattvam is strong, he 
attains the spotless worlds of the “knowers of the highest”.^ 
15 If when rajas is strong, he is reborn among those 
“attached to action”. If when tamas is strong, in the wombs 

^ Ajnana is ‘ not-knowledge” as the positive antithesis to jnanam 
and its clarity, with which, in principle and essentially, the spirit 
is endowed. ~ 2 With K. 

» In the Siddha-loka:~"iArs place of siddhas". 

XIV. i5-24\ the three CONSTITUENTS 


of the “bewildered’*.^ i6 They say that the fruit of a good 
action pertains to sattvam and is spotless, the fruit of rajas 
is painful, and the loss of knowledge the fruit of tamas. 
ly From sattvam knowledge is born, from rajas desire, 
from tamas indolence, delusion and likewise the loss of 
knowledge. i8 Those who abide in sattva go up'^ards, 
men of rajas remain in the middle, men of tamas go down- 
wards because they succumb to the influence of the lowest 
of the gunas. 

(ii) : ig But when he who has attained true vision per- 
ceives that there is no other actor than the gunas, and 
knows that which is higher than the gunas (that is, spirit), 
he attains My mode of Being. 20 Such an embodied one 
passes beyond these gunas, which constitute the body,^ 
and attains immortality, freed from the evil of birth, death 
and old age. 

21 Arjuna: 

Which characteristic marks does he bear, O Lord, who has 
thus passed beyond these three gunasl What is his conduct? 
And how does he surmount these ? 

22 The Supreme: 

Whoso is not attached to brightness (the fruit of sattva), 
nor to activity (the fruit of rajas), nor delusion (the fruit of 
tamas), when these exist, nor to longing when they do not 
exist, 23 whoso, sitting as one who is indifferent, is un- 
touched by any of the gunas, whoso remains free from 
agitation, and thinks that “it is only the gunas that are 
operating”, 24 calm in pleasure as in pain, continuing 
firm within himself, to whom a stone, wood and gold are 
the same, to whom the pleasant and unpleasant are equal, 
wise, to whom praise of himself and dblame are equal, 

1 Animals? 

2 Therefore, too, beyond all corporeality. 



23 untrammelled by fame or shame, by parties of friends 
or foes, by all undertakings— he is called “one who has 
surmounted the gunas'\ 

26 But he (truly) surmounts these gunas who serves Me 
in Bhakti discipline and without erring, and is thus fit for 
the Brahma mode of Being. 27 For upon Me reposes 
Brahman, and likewise the changeless immortality, the 
eternal law and absolute happiness. 


[the lord as the highest person] 

(hi) : I The Supreme: 

An ancient legend tells of a fig-tree^ with roots above, its 
branches below, unchanging, its leaves the songs of the 
Vedas) he who knows this correctly knows the Vedas. 

{Thus runs the old legend): 

2 “Some upwards and some downwards stretch its 
branches, swollen with the gunas, ^ whereupon 'things' 

While downwards again (new) roots^ are clinging. 

Sprouting to action in the world of men. 

^ [This is the asvattha, the pipal, Ftcus rehgtosa. It is not likely 
that the author confused it with the nyagrodha, the banyan. Ficus 
indica, which sends roots down from its branches. This is an 
inverted tree, and the image is taken from Katha Up., vi. i, where 
it means “Brahma, the immortal*', but here it |s the world of rebirth 
(samsara), which is to be cut down by attaining complete severance 
from it.] 

® The guna sattva leads upwards again, while rajas and tamas 
lead still farther do'^wards; cf xiv. 18. 

® This fact is borrowed from the nyagrodha, the branches of which 
produce additional fresh roots (aerial roots). 



j Its^ (evil nature) in this world^ none knoweth, 

Neither its end, its origin nor sustainer.^ 

Cut down the tree, and root so far outgrowing. 

With the stout sword of being attached to nothing. 

4 Then can be seen the pathway to that place 

To which when men have gone they ne'er return ; 

Then man can reach th' eternal primal Spirit, 

Whence sprang of old the Universe's motion. 

5 From pride and erring free, faulty attachment conquered. 
Firm the true self within, free from all joys. 

Free from the pairs that men call 'weal' and 'woe', 

They go un'wildered to th' eternal place, 

6 Which neither sun nor moon nor fire illumines.® 

Who reacheth this returneth nevermore. 

This place is My supreme abode. 

(iv) : 7 A portion of Myself, eternal (like Myself), becomes 
an individual soul in the world of souls. This (forcibly) 
draws to itself the (five) senses that pertain to Nature, with 
manas as the sixth. 8 Imperiously it grasps these, and 
when it enters into the body or leaves the body, it takes 
them with it as the wind (sweeps away) scents from their 
receptacle and carries them with it. 

9 Thus by hearing and seeing, touching and tasting, 
smelling and manas, the soul is involved in the service of 
sense-objects. lo When it (appears) in association with the 
gunas, either as emerging from these, or sojourning within 
them or enjoying them, the deluded know it not in its 
essence (as a part of the eternal God). But they who have 

^ The tree . 

2 Those who are iiwolved in Veda actions or ntnal, who by their 
songs assist the Samsdra tree instead of hewing this down. 

® This consists in adherence to objects. 

^ This is the end of the ancient legend, and the author resumes 
his comments. ^ 

5 But only God Himself. The writer connects an ancient Upam- 
shad saying to the old strophes in Upendravajra verses. 



the eye of jhana know it, ii and verily yogms, who are 
striving and taking pains, perceive it as abiding in them- 
selves. But they who have not attained, (through Yoga), 
to self-conquest, perceive it not even though they strive. . . . 

[A Gloss of the Brahman Theologian): 

12 The brilliance which is in the sun and illumines the whole 
world, the brilliance in the moon and in fire, that know as My 
brilliance, ij Having entered into them, I support the Earth, 
and beings, with My Power, and as soma, the strength-giving 
juice, I cause all plants to sprout. 14 Having entered, as fire, 
into the body of living beings, I cook (digest) food of the four 
kinds, united with the in-breath and the out-breath. 

J 5 I sojourn in all hearts, and from Me come 
Memory and knowledge, \nctory over doubt. 

Alone am I the object of all Vedas. I alone 
Made the Vedanta.'^ The Veda I created.® 

. . . z 6 In the world, therefore, there are these two 
subjects just described; the mutable and the immutable; 
“mutable” are all beings (and modes of Nature) ; the "im- 
mutable” is the sublime (spirit) (higher than Nature). 
ij But the highest Subject is wholly another: He is called 
the Highest Self, Who as eternal I^vaea supports the 
threefold World, since He enters therein. 18 Since I 
(ISvara) am beyond the “mutable”, (Nature), and also 
exalted high above the “immutable”, (that is to say, the 
world of souls), hence am I praised as the Highest Spirit. 

(v) ; ig But he who, having become absolutely free from 
all delusion, knows Me thus as the “Highest Spirit”, 
possesses complete knowledge, and cleaves to Me therefore 
with his whole soul. 

20 Thus have I declared to thee this highest Secret doctrine. 
Whoso understands this may verily be called intelligent. 
He has done what (alone) has to be done. 

^ [Or, tlie maker of the end of the Vedas; see note on xiii. 4 ] 

® vedahnt^ with K. 




[distinction of the godly and the ungodly] 

(Treatise III— xvi-xviii. 57. (A) : A Naive Religio-Moralistic 

(a) \ I The Supreme Exalted One: 

Fearlessness, essential purity, being steadfastly armed 
with wisdom, generosity, self-control, sacrifice, study, 
austerity, uprightness, 2 forbearance, veracity, freedom 
from anger, renunciation, peace of mind, absence of slander, 
compassion towards (all) creatures, absence of greed, mild- 
ness, modesty, constancy, 3 energy, patience, valour, (in- 
ward and outward) purity, freedom from hatred and undue 
self-estimation are his, who is bom to a devic [godly] state. 
4 Deceit, pride and arrogance, anger, insolence and folly 
are his, who is born to an asuric [ungodly] state. 5 Man 
knows that the devic (godly) leads to release, but the asuric 
(demonic) to bondage. Grieve not, 0 Pandava, for thou 
wast born to the devic, 

(6): 6 There are two classes of beings in the world: the 
devic and the asuric.'^ I have already described the former 
in detail (in vv, 1-3 ) : hearken moreover about the asurtc. 
7 The asuric men are they who understand neither action 
nor non-action .2 Purity, good conduct and veracity are 
not found among them. 8 They maintain (false doctrines, 
such as that) the world is without reality, without a (super- 
mundane) support, without a divine Lord, without law- 

1 The “Parsiistic” dualism of this standpoint should be observed, 
in contrast with the tnalism of the following Treatise. 

2 [This is Sankara's interpretation. The te^rms usually refer to 
the evolution and dissolution of the world, but the ethical sense is 
more probable in this context, as also m xviii. 30.} 

104 the song of the SUPREME [XVI. 8-20 

governed sequence,^ nothing whatever occurs except in so 
far as lust produces it. 9 Going astray owing to this 
madness, fools, they commit outrages, injuring the world, 
evil. 10 Indulging in insatiable desire, full of deceit, 
arrogance and frenzy, deluded, they form insane ideas and 
conduct themselves like people of impure morals, ii Com- 
mitting themselves to unbounded designs,^ which lead to 
ruin, engaged solely in enjoying pleasure and firmly con- 
vinced (moreover) that this is nght, 12 entangled in a 
hundred snares of desire, entirely subjected to lust and anger, 
they strive unjustly for the accumulation of possessions, in 
order to indulge in enjo5dng pleasures. 13 Blinded by 
their folly (they form plans) : “This have I gained to-day, 
that pleasure I shall attam to-morrow. Now I have this 
treasure, and (soon) I shall have that. 14 I have already 
slain that enemy, and now I shall slay the other too. I 
have become a lord, I live in enjoyment, I am a successful 
man, I am strong and happy; 13 I am wealthy and 
eminent. Who else is like me! Now I will celebrate 
sacrificial festivals,® I will give alms, I will rejoice.” Thus 
they say, blinded by folly. 16 Completely intoxicated by 
who knows what intentions, entangled in the snares of folly, 
fettered by the enjoyment of pleasure, they fall into foul 
Hell. ly Self-conceited, stubborn, full of the frenzy of 
wealth and fame, their sacrifices are sacrifices merely in 
name, because they are performed with hypocrisy and 
against the law. 18 Cherishing self-seeking, violence, pride, 
lust and anger, and full of malice, they hate Me in their own 
and in others’ bodies, xg Such cruel men, hating Me, evil, 
the lowest, I throw repeatedly, in the course of their soul 
migrations, into asuric wombs. 20 Hhving fallen into 

^ [That the world in its evolution from Nature is produced by 
such combination of,one thing with another is the Sankhya view.] 

“ As in V. 13; cf V. 16. 

® Like the lordly yajamanas (sacrificers). 



these, and (ever more) deluded in each new existence, 
receding ever farther from Me, thereafter they go the lowest 
way of all. 21 Threefold is this self-destruction: lust, 
anger and greed. They are the gates of Hell. Therefore 
should one avoid these three. 22 The man who has freed 
himself from these three, as the gates of darkness, achieves 
salvation for himself. Hence he goes the highest way. 
23 But he who neglects the rule of holy writ,^ who lives 
according to his own desires, attains neither the goal, nor 
happiness, nor the highest way. 24 Therefore let holy 
writ be established as thy standard of what thou shouldst 
do or leave undone. Learn what action is prescribed for 
thee, and do it here. 



{B : Ancient Philosophical Doctrines, Based on the Schema 
of the Three gunas, Concerning Faith, Dietetic Regula- 
tions, Sacrificial Ritual, Asceticism, Almsgiving, 
Spiritual Sannyasa, Knowledge, Action and the Doer, 
Judgment and Firmness, Happiness and Svadharma.^) 

I Arjuna: 

Now what is the position of anyone who does not live in 
accord with the rule of holy writ, but is nevertheless filled 
with faith Is it sattva, or rajas, or tamasl [of goodness, 
passion, or dullness?]. 

1 [iastms, the iastras are * Teaching books”, especially the dharma- 
iastras giving rules and instructions on ritual, ethics, and religion. 
The Song speaks of its own teaching as iastra ip xv. 20 ] 

2 The specific caste duty. 

3 vartante, instead of yajante, with K. 


( j) : 2 The Supreme: 

{Faith): Threefold is faith, since it originates from the 
specific nature of living subjects (which itself is threefold), 
being of the type of sattm, rajas, or tamas. Hearken thereto. 

3 The faith of everyone is in accordance with his own nature, 
since faith pertains to the essence of the man himself; he 
himself is like what he has faith in (and to which he sacrifices) . 

4 Whoso is himself of the sattva type sacrifices to the devas 
(who pertain to sattva) ; he of the rajas type to the yakshas 
and rakshases} (pertaining to rajas), and he of the tamas 
type to ghosts and spirits (who pertain to tamas). 

(Transposed lines): 5-6 Know those to be people of asuric 
convictions who practise excessive mortification, not prescribed 
by the scriptures, fettered b}’' hypocris}^ and arrogance, abandoned 
to the violence of lust and passion, foolishly tormenting the host 
of elements in their body and Me also, for I abide in the inner 
parts of their body. 

(2: Diet, Sacrificial ritual, Asceticism, Almsgiving): 
7 Likewise (in accordance with the specific type of being), 
each one distinguishes the food, the sacrificial actions, the 
asceticism and the almsgiving that appeal to him. Hear 
their differences. 

{Diet): 8 To the sattva-iy^^ appeal foods which increase 
vigour, vitality, strength, health, well-being and comfort: 
tasty, nourishing, tender, agreeable. 

9 By those of the rajasAy^^ foods are desired which are 
bitter, sour, salty, hot, sharp, pungent, burning; they 
cause discomfort, grief and sickness. 10 To those of the 
tamasAy^t appeals what is staled and has lost its flavour, 
putrid and decayed, also what remains of the leavings (of 
others' food) or is ritually impure. "" 

{3: Sacrificial ritual): ii Sacrifice is of the sattvaAype 
which is performed in accordance with precept and by 

^ Sometimes evil, and at other times friendly, demons. 

2 Which has been kept overnight. 



those who do not long for the fruit, but direct their inten- 
tion solely to: “Sacrifice must be done”. 12 Know that 
sacrifice to be of the my<a:s-type when one sacrifices with a 
view to the fruit or in order to do something great thereby. 
13 Sacrifice is described as of the tamas-ty^t which violates 
precept, omits distribution of food, lacks sacred formulas 
and gifts (to the priests), without faith. 

{4: Asceticism): 14 Serving the gods and brahmans, 
teachers and the wise, purity, uprightness, chastity and 
forbearance are called bodily asceticism. 13 Speech which 
does not offend others, which is truthful, pleasant and 
useful, and also reciting holy writ, are called asceticism m 
word. 16 Serenity of mind, a friendly disposition, taci- 
turnity, self-control, purity of heart, are called spiritual 
asceticism. 17 This threefold asceticism, if practised in 
complete faith by men who, longing not for the fruit, possess 
self-command, is described as being of the sattva-type. 
18 Asceticism which is practised in order to gain favourable 
treatment, honour and the show of service, or in order to 
boast about this, has here^ been shown to be of the rajas- 
type; it is unsteady and without constancy, ig Asceticism 
which arises from foolish ideas and with self-torture, or in 
order to injure others (by means of having supposedly 
acquired magical power), is described as of the ^awas-type. 

{The transposed lines ofvv. 5, 6, presumably appeared here,)^ 

(5: Almsgiving): 20 That alms is deemed to be of the 
sattva-iyge which is given solely with the thought. “Alms 
must be given”, and given to one who can make no return, 
and this at the right place, the right time and to a worthy 
recipient. 21 But the alms is shown to be of the rajas- 
type, which is given for the sake of a return (on the recipient's 
part), or with a sly eye to the fruit, or with vexation. 
22 Alms given at the wrong place, at the wrong time, to 

^ That is in the doctrine of the three gunas 


unworthy recipients, in an unfriendly or contemptuous 
spirit, IS called of the tamas-ty^e. 

[A Gloss of the Brahman Theologian): 

23 Om, Tat, Sat — this is declared to be the threefold desig- 
nation of Brahman } — ^By Brahman^ were the Vedas and the 
sacrifice prescribed of old, 24 therefore the orthodox^ always 
perform the acts of sacrifice, almsgiving and asceticism only 
after first of all saying Om. 25 Tat^ means that the various 
acts of sacrifice and asceticism, and likewise of almsgiving, are 
practised by those seeking liberation while their thoughts are 
fixed (only on Brahman) and not on the fruit. 26 Finally, Sat 
is employed in the sense of “true Being"' and “goodness"; the 
word Sat is applied to “action replete with salvation" ; 27 steadi- 
ness in sacrifice, asceticism and almsgivmg is also designated 
by Sat; thus action that is allocated to such a goal can likewise 
be called Sat. 28 On the contrary, whatever sacrifice, or alms 
or asceticism is practised without faith is called Asat, (this 
Asat) yields fruit neither in this life nor after death. 


(sannyasa) — [renunciation] 

(6): J Arjuna: 

I wish to know the specific nature of Sannyasa and 
Tydga [renunciation and abandonment]. 

{a): 2 The Supreme: 

(Some) sages understand Sannyasa to be the giving up 
of those actions that arise from desire; those endowed with 
insight define Tydga as the neglect (of interest in) their 

1 [These terms are duly explained in the text. Sat is literally 
“existent’', asat “non-existent”. Tat, “that”, is specially used in 
the “great utterance” of the Upamshads, fat tvam ast, “thou art 
that”, expressing thendentity of the individual with Brahma.} 

2 brahmana, with K. 3 The Brahma-vidas. 

^ “That”, originally a mystical term for Brahman. 

XVIII. 2-J2] 



fruit as regards all actions. 3 Some scholars maintain 
that ''action in general should be abstained from”, because 
(essentially as action) it is defective. Others, again, teach 
that acts of sacrifice, almsgiving and asceticism should not 
be abandoned (perfect Sannydsa, but with exceptions). 

(b): 4 Hear now My own decision; Tydga (like Sannydsa) 
is expounded as being threefold (that is as being of sattva, 
rajas and tamas type). 

{A Gloss?): 

5 Acts of sacrifice, almsgiving and asceticism should not be 
abandoned, for they are the means of purification for the intelli- 
gent, 6 but even these actions should be done while ignoring 
attachment (to action) and the fruit (of action). This is My 
decided and final teaching concerning this. 

7 But renunciation of "indispensable action” should not 
be permitted, and the neglect of such action is described as 
of the tamas-iYpe, because it is an error. 8 Whoso abstains 
from action, merely because he thinks it is difficult and fears 
hardship, practises Tydga of the rajas-typ^\ nothing is 
gained by such Tydga, 9 But when one does an indis- 
pensable action purely from the conviction that "it must be 
done”, and at the same moment ignores attachment (to 
action) and (its) fruit, that Tydga is of the sattva-ty^^, 
10 A tydgin, filled with saUm, rich in wisdom and freed from 
doubt, (is one who) has no aversion from unacceptable 
action nor inclination to what is acceptable, 11 (but not 
one who abandons action completely, since) no one, who is 
still in the body, can renounce action entirely. Rather is he, 
who practises the Tydga of the fruit of action, called a tydgin, 

{The fruit of action): 

12 Threefold is The fruit of action: unwished for, wished 
for, or compounded of both; it is granted only to the non- 
tydgin after death, but not to the sannydsin,^ 

1 Because, after death, the (genuine) sannydsin attains not 
reward for works, but moksha : — ^release. 



{A Sdnkhya Gloss): 

Learn from Me, 0 Mighty-armed, the following five causes 
for the achieving of all actions: they have been established in 
the Sdnkhya-kntdnta:'^ 14 The basis, the doer, the organ, 
each in its own type, (their?) various separate functions, and as 
the fifth cause: Destin}?'.^ ly These five (and not the dtman) 
are the causes of every action, whether one undertakes it with 
the body, with the voice or with thought, whether right or 
wrong. j6 Since this is the truth of the matter, therefore the 
pure self is not the doer, and whoso looks upon it as the doer, 
owing to his defective insight, cannot see and is deluded. ly But 
he whose mind is free from such a false attribution (of the status 
of a doer) to the ego, and whose strength of insight is unclouded, 
is not a doer, even though he has slain all these peoples, nor is 
he bound (by such slaughter). 

{j a: The conditions ofachon): ' 

18 Threefold too are the conditions of action : knowledge 
(of an object), the knowable (object) and the subject of 
knowledge [the knower]. Threefold also is that pertaining 
to the essence of action: the tool, action itself, and the 
actor, ig Knowledge moreover, like action and actor, is 
divided into three classes by enumerating (and distin- 
guishing) their attributes, in accordance with the classi- 
fication in terms of the gunas. Hearken, how this is done. 

{b: Knowledge): 

20 Know that that knowledge is of the sattvaAy^o: 
whereby one perceives one single Substance in all beings 
which, imperishable, exists undivided in divided (separate 
things). 21 Knowledge is of the rajasAy^t which imagines 
qualitatively distinguished substances (simultaneously), 
in numerical individuality, in all beings. 22 Knowledge is 
designated as of the /am^s-type which, adhering merely to 
one single (and isolated) product (of Sat), as if it were the 

1 The Sdnkhya system and its ''dogmas*' (Hill). 

^ [In all human a<^tions there is always an unaccountable element, 
luck, fate, destiny, providence, which the Hindus call da^va, lit. 
"the divine".] 

XVIII. 22 - 32 ] 



whole, does not enquire about the cause (and interconnection 
of the single products), nor about the one (highest) Reality, 
(subsisting at the basis of everything), but is attached strictly 
(to details and aspects). 

{A chon): 

23 Action IS called of the sattva-ty^e which is done as 
being necessary, without attachment, and not from inclina- 
tion nor aversion, by those who do not wish for the fruit; 
24 that is of the mjasAy^t which is done by one who seeks 
pleasure and egotistically, with great effort; 25 that is 
of the tamas-iy^Q which is done from lack of deliberation, 
without regard to the consequent loss or injury and with 
no consideration for one’s own capacity. 

[The Doer): 

26 The doer is called of the sattva-iy^e who, free from 
attachment, speaking not of 'T”,^ firmly and steadfastly 
remains himself unchanged in success as in failure; 27 he 
is called of the rajasAy^^e who is passionate, seeking the fruit 
of action, greedy, violent, impure, moved by joy or sorrow. 
28 He is of the tamasAy^e who, lacking self-control, is un- 
trained, stubborn, cunning, dishonest, lazy, despondent, 


2g Hear too now — ^fully and in detail — ^the three classes of 
judgment and^mn^ss, as these result from the gunas, 

30 That judgment is of the sattva-tyge which understands 
(the distinction) between acting and refraining from acting, 
between what ought to be done and to be omitted, to be 
feared and not to be feared, between bondage and release; 
31 that is of the mjas-tyge which does not understand 
right and wroiag, what ought to be done and be omitted, 
as these must be; 32 that is of the tamas-type which, 
enveloped in darkness, sees wrong as right and all aims 
reversed. « 

1 anahamvMin: egoist. ^ dwgha-sutnn, dilatory. 




33 That firmness is of the sate-type by which one firmly 
curbs, with undivided composure, the breath, the senses 
and manas; 34 that is of the rajas-ty^Q with which, 
impelled by attachment and longing for the fruit of action, 
one holds firm to gainful action, and likewise to pleasure 
and profit. 35 That is of the tamas-iy^e with which the 
fool does not give up sleep, fear, sorrow, despair and excite- 
ment (but ''firmly’' adheres to them). 


36 Happiness also is threefold. Hearken: of the sattva- 
type is happiness springing from the calm of one’s own soul, 
where ]oy results from the foundation of (prolonged) dis- 
cipline. Thus the cessation of pain is (actually) attained. 
3y This (pure spiritual) happiness at first tastes bitter, but 
in its ripeness like ambrosia. 38 Happiness is called of the 
rajas-ty^t which onginates from contact between the 
senses and the objects of sense. At first it tastes like 
ambrosia, but in its ripeness is bitter.* 59 That is of the 
tamas-ty^e which arises from sleep, inactivity and indolence. 
(It is mere animal comfort and) at first, as in what follows, 
nothing but self-delusion. 

[8: Svadharma): 

40 Free from these three gunas, sprung from Nature — 
such a being can be found neither on Earth nor in Heaven 
among the devas, 41 and thus the actions, (connected 
with their status), of brahmans, kshatnyas, vaisyas and 
§udras,^ (as determined by the gunas), are distinguished 
(from each other) according to the influence of the pre- 
dominant guna of their specific nature. 42 Springing from 
his nature (of the sattva-type), the brahman’s action is 
calm (in spirit), discipline, likewise^ purity, forbearance, 

1 [The four castes of priests, warriors, the agricultural and trading 
class, and the servife class.] 

2 tatha in place of tapas, with K. 

XVIII. 42 - 50 ] 



uprightness, knowledge, understanding and faith (in trans- 
cendent Reality and the goal of salvation)^; 43 originating 
from his nature (compounded of sattva and rajas), the 
kshatriya’s action is heroism, superiority, firmness, strength 
of will, steadfastness in battle, almsgiving, the character 
of a ruler; 44 arising from his nature (compounded of 
rajas and tamas), the vaisya’s action is agriculture, cattle 
rearing, trade; service is the action of the sudra, springing 
from his nature (compounded of tamas and rajas). 

(A Gloss): 

45 By being devoted to his own (caste) action with joy a man 
attains the goal (in each of these castes). Hear how he finds 
the goal by being gladly devoted to his proper action: 

46 When a man, with his proper action, worships Him from 
Whom beings come forth, and by Whom all is pervaded, he finds 
the goal. 

(9): 4y Better is the fulfilment of one’s own (caste) 
dharma [duty], even if imperfectly achieved, than of another’s 
(caste) dharma, even if well performed. Whoso executes 
the (caste) action necessitated by his nature remains free 
from sin. 48 And even if that action, indicated by one’s 
own nature, should involve evil, it should not be abandoned, 
for all undertakings are enveloped by evil (and this neces- 
sarily) as is fire by smoke. 

(10); {Conclusion): 

4g By Sannydsa (that is to say, as we have seen) when 
one’s mind is free from attachment as regards all things, 
when he is self-restrained and has been released from desire, 
he attains the highest goal, that is, freedom from Karman. 

[C: Appendix by a Bhakti theologian, effecting the connec- 
tion with-!E^e Qnginal Gita in vv. 56, 57.) 

50 Understand now briefly from Me, how one who^ “has 
attained the goal” likewise attains Brahman — ^which is the 
highest perfection of “wisdom”. • 

1 asUkyam. 2 

The Ongmal GitS 




5X Armed with a purified intellect, restraining the self 
by firmness, abandoning objects of sense such as sound 
(odour, etc), casting away inclination and aversion, 
52 abiding in a solitary place, enjoying only light fare, 
with speech, body and mind restrained, practising contem- 
plation, cultivating steadfast detachment from passion, 
5y relinquishing arrogance, violence, pride, lust, anger, 
desire for possessions, not egotistic, calm in soul, he is 
(specifically) fit for the "Brahman state”. 54 Existing in 
that "Brahman state”, (that is to say) having attained to 
peace of soul, he fears and desires no more, and having 
attained equanimity to all beings, (then) he wins the highest 
love to Me (Bhakti). 55 But through this Bhakti, more- 
over, he gains the knowledge of Me, Who in truth I am, and 
how great. But if one (thus) knows Me in truth, (finally) 
he comes, in consequence of this knowledge, forthwith 
to Me. 

56 Even if one ever performs so many actions, never- 
theless he attains the eternal, imperishable state, trusting 
in Me and through My Grace. 57 Therefore casting all 
actions, in spirit, on Me. 0 Bharata,^ and sustained by 
Buddhi-Yoga, ever have thy thought on Me. 

(Resumption of The Original Qttd, interrupted at XI. 51.) 
yS The Supreme: 

Therefore direct thy thoughts to Mej then through My 
Grace thou shall surmount all difficulties. But if, from arro- 
gance, thou wilt not obey, thou shall perish. 59 If (now), in 
thy self-sufficiency, thou thinkest that thou wilt not fi ght, 
this thy resolve is (also) vain: thy (martial),nature will constrain 
thee so to do. 60 For bound by the Power of Destiny, assigned 
to thee with thy nature, thou wilt do compulsorily what now 
through bewilderpient thou dost not wish to do. 61 (But this 

^ Bharata, in place of matparah, with K. 

XVIII. 6j-70] 



compelling power of thine own nature is nothing other than 
the operation of the Universal Activity; for) this God^ abides 
in the heart of all beings and makes them move like puppets 
on the stage^ by His magic Power. . . . 

{A Bhakti Interpolation): 

62 Flee to Him with thy whole soul. By His Grace thou 
shalt attain the highest peace, the eternal abode. 63 Thus 
have I taught thee knowledge, more secret than the secret. 
Ponder it deeply, and then do as thou wilt. 64 Yet hearken 
to My highest word, most secret of all; because thou art inviol- 
ably dear to Me, I will speak it to thee for thy salvation. 

65 Have thy mind on Me, be My bhakta, sacrifice to Me, 
honour Me. 

Then to Me thou shalt come. Verily, I swear it to thee: 
dear art thou to Me. 

... 66 Fret not thyself, therefore, because of all the 
^1aws”.3 (In thy ''sorrow’’) take thy refuge in Me alone. 
I will free thee from all "sins”. Abandon thy "sorrow”. . . A 

(A Bhakti Interpolation): 

67 This is never to be imparted by thee to anyone who is 
undisciplined, who is not a bhakta, who is not a student of the 
doctrine, or above all to one who is ill-willed towards Me. 
68 But he who shall declare this highest secret to My bhaktas 
himself shows, in that way, the highest Bhakti to Me, and shall 
surely come to Me. 69 For no one among all men does what 
is dearer to Me than he, and no one on Earth shaU be dearer to 
Me than he. 70 And if anyone will study this sacred discourse 

1 esha, with K : — ^This God, Who has just manifested Himself to 

2 [“Revolve mounted on a machine*': Sankara says, like wooden 
figures of a puppet-show ] 

2 [“Duties.” Sankara says that this includes wrong as well as 
right; it is “beyoild good and evil”, not because moral distinctions 
are unreal, but because the devotee has reached a state beyond 

^ [This is called the “final verse” (carama iloka), and is looked 
upon by the school of Ramanuja as containing *the essence of The 


between us two, that will be esteemed by Me as th.ejndna sacrifice 
[sacrifice of knowledge]. 71 But whoso merely hears it, if 
only he has faith and is not opposed, is freed (from Samsdra) 
and attains the excellent worlds of men of good works. 

(The Conclusion of The Original GUd ) : 

... 72 Hast thou heard this, O Partha, with attentive 
mind? Has thy perplexity disappeared, that sprang from 

75 Arjuna: 

The perplexity has disappeared. By Thy Grace, O Acyuta, 
[Stable One] , I have gained prudence.^ I stand steadfast, freed 
from doubt. I will fulfil Thy command. 

{Editorial Supplement): 

74 Samjaya: 

Thus did I hear this discourse between Vasudeva and Partha, 
the exalted one. It is marvellous and causes one's hair to rise 
(with rapture). 75 Through the favour of Vyasa I was granted 
this (supernatural) hearing (in order to understand) this supreme 
secret of Yoga, as the Lord of Yoga, Krishna, Himself directly 
proclaimed it. 76 Calling to memory again and again, O King, 
this marvellous sacred discourse between Kesava and Arjuna, 
I am ever enraptured anew, 77 and calling to memory again 
and again that exceeding marvellous {Visvarupa)'^-ioim of Hari, 
great is my astonishment, and with it I am evermore enraptured. 
78 VTierever Krishna is, the Lord of Yoga, and Partha, the 
bearer of the bow, there too — ^I deem^ — are happiness and victory, 
prosperity and the leading (of the army) to certain (victory). 

^ Or “thought of Thee". * The “all forms". 

® [These words make it clear that the meaning of The Song is 
much more than an incident in an ancient battle. The fight is ever 
present. Modem Indian thought finds in it an allegorical meaning, 
much as Dante describes the mystical interjTretcJtions of the Com- 
med%a (Ep. 17). The battlefield Kurukshetra is called dharma- 
kshetra, the field of right There is the Lord, and there is the indi- 
vidual soul, fightii^ against the distractions of the several senses, 
till by means of Yoga it attains the light of knowledge.] 



(j). A yogin, in the first place, is one who practises Yoga. 
Both of these terms, however, undergo a profound change 
of meaning, and acquire associations so diverse as fully to 
justify Hill's application of ''chameleon" to the two words 
in The GUd. The root of Yoga, in the first place, is yuj, 
which means "to bind together" two beasts of burden under 
the "yoke" (springing from the same root), or again "to bind 
together" a draught animal and the wagon: — Whence "to 
yoke", "to harness".' In magical cult practices, therefore, 
man could thus "yoke" or "harness" spirits or gods and 
utilize them for his own purposes, exactly as magician and 
priest both alike actually do/^ Similarly, and by emplo5dng 
the same ritual, a person's own psychic powers could be 
"yoked" so as to accumulate and enhance them, to bring 
them into operation, by asceticism, tapas (self-mortification) 
and magical practices. Whoever does all this then, and so 
achieves any powerful magical effects, is a "yoker", a 
yogin] and thus the word yogi# gains the additional meaning 
of sorcerer or magician and, on a still higher level, of "wonder 
worker";^ In this sense, therefore. Yoga means magical and 
miraculous power, its utilization and its systematic culti- 
vation. God, too, is Yoga-Ikvara, or in other words Lord 
of the marvellous Yoga Powers with which He creates and 
rules. Here then we must translate the term by "wondrous 
Power" — madyoga}-] and the significance of this magical 
and marvellous* Power is connected with that of Mdyd, 
while both terms can be combined in a hendiadys as Yoga- 
Mdyd. The root of Mdyd, again, is md — "to prepare, 
form or build" — and originally means sirflply the capacity 
^ '‘My saving wondrous Power”; The GUd, xii. ii; p 173. 


to produce a "pattern, image or structure”. But this 
word too acquires the higher, and now numinous, sense of 
“to produce by occult power, of a supernatural kind, some 
magical or miraculous result or effect”, and then becomes 
at the same time a name for any supernatural product 
as such. 

In this way therefore it becomes a name equally for the 
magical action of a sorcerer as for the miraculous act of a 
god, both of whom can be called mdyin ; and thus, on the 
one hand, Mdyd may be a name for exalted and divine 
miraculous activity and, on the other, for any quite common- 
place magical operations. In itself, again, Mdyd has no 
reference whatever to “illusion”, deception or mere appear- 
ances. What is effected by Mdyd, nevertheless, is never 
part of the natural order of events and possesses, therefore, 
no normally material nor physical character. It does not 
"exist” (that is to say) in the same way as natural objects 
"exist”, and cannot be estimated in ^iccordance with the 
“actuality” or “reality” pertaining to the Being of Nature, 
as is equally true, indeed, of the Mdyd of the ordinary 
magician. 'Whatever he produces, then, is m fact a “decep- 
tion” but we should misunderstand all this entirely were 
we to confuse it with any modem theories of merely subjec- 
tive illusions such as an expert psychologist can create by 
employing suggestion. On the contrary, Mdyd events and 
objects are in themselves results that are wholly objective 
and can cause completely real effects in the world of things 
in general. Nevertheless this thoroughly objective “given” 
subsistence which they possess cannot be included in the 
same category as our own much later concepts of Being 
and Non-Being {sadasadbhydm anirvacamyTtm — ^not to be 
defined as either Being or Non-Being) ; and this enables us 

to understand, still further, that by Mdyd the noblest 


^ c/. finger e and “fiction' finger e, too, implies actual formation, 
while “a mere fiction" is a deception. 



divine and creative activity can be denoted on the one 
hand, which by recalling the word's original meaning, in 
the sense of forming and constructing, can be apprehended 
quite realistically, while (on the other hand) the term can 
also acquire the literal significance of magical juggling, of 
deception and illusion by means of demonic images, and 
finally of deception in general. It explains, too, that when- 
ever divine creation is referred to and indicated by Mdyd, 
it can often be characterized by a strange veil of the unreality, 
or semi-reality, of what has been created, while at the same 
moment God, Whose Omnipotence is on the one hand to 
be glorified by His Mdyd, nevertheless also appears as the 
mysterious and enigmatic Mdyin Who, by means of His 
own creative ''play", simultaneously conceals Himself 
behind it, and to that extent "deceives". With this may 
be compared Luther's familiar dictum — creatum est larva 
Dei. Closely connected with this, too, is that characteristic 
dual estimation of the Universe, and of its essential nature 
and reality, appertaining to every form of the religious 
attitude towards the Universe, of which I have spoken in 
my Mysticism East and West, Chapter VIII, "Creature and 

(2). From the very earliest times, still further. Yoga has 
been employed in its specific sense to describe practices and 
experiences of a quite distinctive kind; and of these the 
most magnificent account is preserved in the S>uka legend. 
Originating in primitive practices which must have had a 
shamanist character, Yoga now becomes a methodically 
prearranged "harnessing" or "yoking" of the mind in order 
to penetrate to a transcendent experience, wherein the 
spirit tears itsdf Sway from its connection with the body 
so that, having thus become bodiless and free, it attains 
its own, as well as universal, infinity, rides on the wind and 
enters into ever higher, into even the highest, realms of 
Being and Essence, in order finally to achieve universal 



experience. So it gains that “lordship"' which, on the one 
hand, is inner freedom from all narrowness and restriction, 
and on the other the infinite fullness of its own being. 
The absolutely essential condition for this experience, 
again, is not systematic thinking, not any specific cultivation 
and acquirement of knowledge, but Yoga in its true and 
proper sense of the most forcible inner harnessing of the 
volitional capacity, directed towards suppressing all interests 
absorbed in external objects, the immobilizing and elimina- 
tion of thought and the most intense concentration of the 
controlled will and its powers, whose goal is to force the 
way — ^to break through as it were — ^to transcendence. Who- 
ever undertakes this is engaged in a dynamic “activity", in 
an act of will which makes him a jina — a victor over all 
opposition and a conqueror of the transcendent enjoyment of 
salvation. The initiation of this “activity", in principle, 
consists in a fundamental, persistent and unfailing resolution 
which, as a thoroughgoing and basal deed which transforms 
the whole inner being, is closely related on the one hand to 
the teshubdh and the metanoia (return, in the sense of 
repentance) of the Old and the New Testament, and also 
with Kant's radical postulation of Maxims. 

\/ A brief summary of the legend just referred to may not 
be inapposite here: 5uka is the son of Vyasa; and by the 
recounter of the story, who is a past master of narration, 
characterization and subtle irony, Vyasa is depicted as the 
typical advocate of Vedic “knowledge and wisdom". His 
own house is devoted to study and teaching, and there he 
trains his pupils, who subsequently become renowned, in 
Vedic sacrificial practice and speculation; his one motto is: 
“Study, study". An excellent and mostlriipressive sermon 
about repentance has induced his son, Suka, who according 
to this exhortation must have been a sad rake, to follow the 
path leading to salvation; and then his father wishes to 
educate him to become a learned brahman. But Suka 



has loftier impulses. He is overcome by niveda — ^by that 
loathing for all srutam hrotavyam ca, all Vedic pedantry and 
studiousness, which characterizes the yogin, and which 
The Gild expresses in ii. 52 — ^its own passionate protest 
against Vedic sacrificial practice and against the Vedic ideal 
of the four "'classes'*, its revolt against the Brahmanic way 
of salvation because it does not lead “to the Highest, the 
Supreme* * . So he leaves his father’s school and, as instructed 
by his parent himself, he goes to the wise king Janaka, the 
master of Yoga, Already he has attained the preliminary 
stages of Yoga, consisting in the renunciation of sensual 
pleasures and the things of sense; and now Janaka exhorts 
him to take the “resolution” on which everything depends: 
“For without strenuous resolve no one attains the Highest”. 
Then 5uka returns to his father, having made his final 
decision: “I desire not the worlds of the devas (gods) (in 
their "heavens’), but that hi ghest state of Being from whi ch 
there is no retur n (tp this s orrowful samsd ra) ; and only b y 
Yoga is this highest path to be reached But whoever 
practises Yoga has nought to do with the path of (Vedic) 
actions (and the whole Vedic ritual). Farewell, trees and 
elephants, stately mountains and celestial regions. I desire 
to enter into all Being and into all the worlds.” So he 
travels on into solitude, occupies the Yoga seat and “concen- 
trates the self” in forcible restraint and suppression of all 
intellectual activity; and then there dawns on him the 
most sublime vision of the marvellous secret of the “true 
Self” within his own self. “And Suka broke out into 
jubilantjaughter when he perceived this highest.” Then 
the “breaking through” occurs: and the spirit is freed from 
the fetters of OTe'body ""like an arrow-shaft out from a 
reed’ ’ And like the other great yogin, Gautama Siddhartha 
Buddha, he too cries out in rapturous joy: “I have seen the 
way: I have ventured it”. Away on t3e wind he flies: 

1 Katha Upanishad, vi. 17 (Hume). 



he ascends to Heaven. He attains ''the state of perfection” 
—he attains, that is to say, the literal ideal of Yoga, and 
thus becomes a siddha. Stripping off all gunas, (constituents 
of Nature), he stands like smokeless fire. (The whole 
Universe shudders at the great miracle.) He becomes a 
''Universal Being, omnipresent, having the Universe as his 
own self”. 

( 5 ). This state of perfection — Siddhi — ^is frequently called 
"jBf^xAwi^n-existence” in Yoga doctrine, as is the case in 
the Suka legend also. Originally, however, pnmitive Yoga 
experience required neither the name nor the idea of 
Brahman] from the very beginning its ideal is neither 
Brahman, nor any god nor the God, but simply and solely 
to become a siddha] and even the oldest Hindu mythological 
tradition was quite familiar with siddhas. They held the 
same position as the rishis, the pitris (or manes), the devas 
and the sddhyas,^ as independent and transcendent miracu- 
lous figures of primitive origin, great and marvellously 
powerful magical beings, who in the later systems too 
retained their peculiar transcendent status, being capable of 
producing mighty effects and enjoying the magic aikvaryam 
or "lordship” over the world of the elements in the first 
place, while having escaped from the world, their mastery 
then includes dominance even over spirits and gods. Thus 
their Siddhi is an absolutely transcendent condition of 
delight and power, in itself wholly independent of "becom- 
ing Brahman” or of any ideas of God. And no matter how 
closely Yoga practices can adapt themselves, in accordance 
with the rehgious environment, to Brahmanic or theistic 
doctrines of salvation, still the ancient magical absolutist 
ideal of the siddha state, essentially characteristic of Yoga, 
cannot be derived from these doctrines themselves. 

{4)‘ But older even than the Suka legend, with its mark- 
edly poetic styldj is an ancient Yoga fragment describing 
1 The sages, fathers, gods and celestials. 



the psychic and transcendent experiences of the original 
yogin. In a sadly fragmentary form it was incorporated 
in a representation of the Upasarga, or the subordinate 
creation which begins with the Demiurge Brahma subsisting 
in subservience to the divine original Principle, although it 
has no connection whatever with the Upasarga in itself. 
Evidently the editor himself was acquainted with it only in 
shreds which he has patched together in the most curious 
way. It is to be found in Harivamsa, xi. 696 ff. and 
runs : — 

When by ''wisdom’'^ the yogin has firmly suppressed the 
host of the five senses, desire, anger and confusion (arising 
through the play of thought), and has energetically^ trans- 
ported (his self) into his head, there arises first of all a great 
smoke glowing and coloured in blue and red, white and 
yellow, dove grey and crystal, with different tinted ingredi- 
ents, suddenly rushing down over him as when great clouds 
accumulate. As though with winged mountain ranges the 
ether shrouds itself. These smoking and conglomerated 
masses bring with them floods, discharging them so that 
they penetrate the Earth's interior. On his head there 
bums a spiritual — that is, immaterial — great and mighty 
fire. (Thus) the devotee of Yoga is surrounded a hundred- 
fold by rays, while from all his limbs spring forth hundreds 
and thousands of fiery sparks, flaming like the conflagration 
of the end of the world. As many flames blaze out as there 
are clouds, but they are extinguished by the waters flooding 
the Earth. 

Out of the disciple's ears^ rushes forth a great wind, 
produced by the host^ of heavenly siddhas, already per- 

crm ^ 

^ We shall encounter this ''wisdom** in detail at a later stage in 
the form of the practical wisdom of austere prudence and firm 

® Tejasa, "power** or magical heat-energy, -^^Mcli here becomes 
the tense energy of will m general. 

® Karnabhyam. ^ Gana in place of guna. 



fected, subtle,^ strengthening the breath of life, tempestuous, 
raging frightfully, mighty and powerful, odorous like 
perfume. . . . 

(Here the fragment is interrupted, but resumed in) * — 

XI. 717. Then from the great smoke comes a mass of 
cloud, and out of this the purest stream. 

(After another hiatus there follows) : — 

XI. 738. Then the disciple gains the lordship (atsvaryam) 
over ethereal space, if, thus being in the Brahman state (here, 
that is to say, simply acting according to Yoga) he (per- 
sists) in (Yoga) works, which overcome all vikdras^ — obstacles, 
that is, and inimical beings which hinder him. So he 
attains the wide aery space, pure and immutable, the 
assembly of all the orthodox who have existed.^ Having 
thus gained this dominion over ethereal space, he (at the 
same time) makes it a mastery over the wind, after having 
first of all been compelled to experience many ‘'obstacles'' 
(vikdras) which befall him; and when, he has completely 
vanquished these hindrances confronting him, then he 
actually obtains his dominion permanently and becomes a 
siddha. Leaving the body, he courses along (on the wind) 

^ Sukshma, subtle, as contrasted with the grossly material natural 

2 Nirvikdrena karmand. This term is significant. To Yoga there 
pertains a Karma; the yogin (that is to say) must not * 'think' but 
must accomplish a mighty act of will. Thus the expression mrvt- 
kdrena karmana indicates m what sense Yoga is designated Karma- 
Yoga. The vikdras are demonic obstacles to be vanquished, while 
for later Yoga they become subjective personal impediments. But, 
for the yogin, nirvikdram karma remains a perennial necessity, 
cf. p. 206, and on Karma-Yoga pp. 130, 290. 

® A theological encounter of this kind w#hj^he hrahmavddins 
would very probably interest the Brahmanic redactor of this ancient 
Yoga Text; but in the origmal, undoubtedly, the word mahdsiddha, 
or something similar, occurred • — ^the ganas, the hosts of divyasiddhas, 
being intended, wh^ have appeared previously and who blew the 
strong, fragrant wind which strengthens the breath of life out of 
the ears of the struggling cf. n. 5, p. 50, and p 125, n. 2. 



in ethereal space as a pure spirit (manasd), with no support, 
and without even supporting himself on what has no sup- 
port (the ether?), (but freely and independently). Enjoying 
this dominion, sailing (m the ether) and having become a 
pure dtman or ''self’', he is invisible, even to those who are 
like Indra, with a thousand eyes. 

XI. 754. Then he obtains lordshif over all that is moist, 
when he has (once again) reached the end of (new) obstacles ; 
for here too hindrances in terrible form afflict the noble- 
spirited disciples. They surround him with vast floods, 
so that he is distracted with terror; far around him are 
great waves, both cold and hot. Falling into the hot 
flood he is scalded, but he never sinks.^ Great streams 
break over him: he sits in the swelling waters, and in that 
deluge he is overcome by fierce cold. With no support 
nor shelter he loses consciousness; and falling into a chasm, 
a white flood of water (again) rushes over his head. (Seek- 
ing) to turn his gaze upward to the light, he is overshadowed 
by white and yellow clouds full of water, and dully echoing 
as the lightning flashes. When he completely subdues 
these obstacles, he obtains his lordship permanently and 
becomes a siddha. Then he can put forth from himself 
this mastery over all that is moist, from the tip of his 
tongue like a great vast mass of clouds with a thousand 
jets of water, and when he has become a perfect siddha,^ 
he can as lord (over the element) and by virtue of his Yoga 

^ Read: majjate, 

2 That is a samstddha — a still higher state than the mere siddha. 
In Tibetan Buddhism these are called mahasiddhas; the terms 
yogeivara and mahd-yogesvara {^uka) have the same meaning. Like 
so much that is primitive, the original figures of the siddhas come to 
life again in Tantxfsih (a kind of religious magic). Certainly these 
forms originated from neither Brahman nor Hvara theology, but 
have a quite different root; this has an important bearmg on the 
question whether Yoga was onginally Sa-Iivara-Yoga {Yoga asso- 
ciated with I^vara); c/. A. Grunwedel, GeschiBhte dev 84 Zauberer 
{Mahasiddhas), From the Tibetan; Leipzig, 1916. 



pour out manifold (vital) juices, and impart the dhdtu^ to all 
beings, since by his Yoga he has attained creative originating 

XI. 763. Lordship over heat. This too develops for him 
together Avith new obstacles; (at first) it creates hindrances 
for him, in order by their means to make him a genuine 
brahman.2 jjg jg beaten by “obstacles” of frightful form 
with sticks in their hands, in fearful guise and with hoUow 
voices, with reddish eyes, in human shape. They tear out 
his eyes, they pull his tongue, they roar all together, opening 
their jaws wide again and again; once more they assume 
many other (seductive) forms, dancing before him and 
singing most dehghtfuUy. Then they aU turn into women 
and fall on the disciples’ necks, and in many diSerent 
shapes they try, with their (tempting) arts, to obstruct 
them and make them lascivious. Calhng them trustfully 
by sweet names, they all fall at their feet and bow their 
heads, sohciting their favours so as to hinder the progress 
of their Yoga) they chatter and gossip, they dance and 
play. And when he has completely subdued these obstacles, 
the bra h man attains his lordship permanently and becomes 
a siddha.' ' This dominance, in its glowmg guise, is like a 
fiery shimmer, like the rays of the sun. Those who have 
attained it become like drops of water, or magnificent lights 
in the ether, wandering continually in the world of the 
sun and moon. This sublime host, celestial and radiant, 
enjoying the nature of sun and moon, gloriously beams and 
steadily holds the wheel of Time in the Universe, sustaining 
the different periods of Time, and the movement of the 
stars and planets. 

XI. 776. After all this, lordship over* Ae Earth. This 
too results only from the conquest of obstacles. For now 

1 The vital juice in beings. 

2 Svastho IS meaningless, read svastha-brahmana-karane, to produce 
the true (perfect) possessor of Brahma. 



the Yoga disciple is seized, thrown from his Yoga seat, and 
because his desires cannot be excited he is lacerated and, 
trembling, hewn in pieces. Cut asunder again and again 
he lies in the Earth’s interior, where he is suddenly bound 
with all kinds of things, and forcibly crushed by (beings) 
of many forms out of the host of evil spirits, and by yet 
other beings dwelHng underground. Then, if he still 
persists in boldly aspiring to lordship over the Earth, he is 
smitten with different kinds of metal objects like spears 
and clubs, etc., is cut down with swords as keen as razors, 
stabbed with very sharp arrow points which tear his bowels. 
But when he has conquered the obstacles that have thus 
arisen, he attains dominion over the Earth permanently 
and becomes a siddha. This mastery over the Earth 
manifests itself in its full glory to the victor over such 
obstructions when the yogin is about to die in samddhi 
(rapture). Then he smells celestial odours and hears 
heavenly things; he is separated (from his body) by beings 
of celestial form, arid yet he is never injured; penetrating 
into the heart of Nature, he goes forth like the Great Spirit 

(5). It was then from these aspirations, and from these 
appreciations of magical and primitive Yoga, that Yoga as 
it appears in the Second Chapter of The GUd^v^diS gradually 
evolved. But to compare this with the Yoga of ^uka 
gives the impression of being in a wholly different world, 
since there is no reference whatever to Buka’s prodigious 

^ Pradhdna-atma %va The trend of Sa-Isvara-Yoga is to recog- 
nize God; and here God is a privileged individual Soul, eternally 
free and eternally subsisting above the bonds of Karman and of 
Nature, blessed in Himself, not creating the Universe but pervading 
and directing it, tht^iftea being indicated by the expression pmdMna- 
atman. The yogin does not become one with Him but henceforth, 
like the spintus principalis, permeates all beings. He attains not 
identity with Hun, but “equality in predicates” {sadharmyam) , an 
idea sharply opposed to Brahmanism; the lit^ie word iva severs 
two wholly different spheres of experience; cf. pp. 180, 229. 



experiences of transcendence and universality, while the 
transcendent state of salvation that is to be reached is 
discussed in purely conventional terms and without being 
specifically developed. Rather has the interest been com- 
pletely transferred to the aspect of strenuous inner “yoking” 
and concentration, to “pulling oneself together” in the face 
of the play of sense excitations, already referred to. . Here 
then the actual state of salvation, which must thus be 
striven for, has virtually become inner freedom wherewith 
to meet these sensuous enticements, spiritual superiority, 
the “independence” of the serene and self-sufficient spirit; 
and in this way there arises here, against the background 
of primitive Yoga, what I should like to call “Character- 
' Yoga”, for which the true yogm is the self-controlled man who 
"pulls himself together” in intense concentration, thus 
attaining superiority to the enjo 3 anent of sense and the 
world, and at the same moment wholly uninterested in the 
world and its concerns.^ He presents indeed an impressive 
resemblance to the Stoic, with his proud self-control and 
superiority to the world which is equally self-glorification — 
his apatheia and his ataraxia. Nevertheless the connecting 
links between “Character-Yog«” of this type and primitive 
Yoga still remain perfectly obvious. For the Character- 
yogin, exactly like the ancient yogin, is a man of strong 
wiU; his whole behaviour is a Karma — ^not intellectual 
activity (that is to say) but an act of will, whose predominant 
feature is the “firm and strenuous resolve” of the yuUacetas 
— of the man of perfectly collected, controlled or “yoked” 
and concentrated spirit.^ 

(6). Thus the essential significance of Yoga steadily 
changes, so that while the connection wath primitive magic 
practices never completely disappears, still it falls more 

1 AH this would be an adequate interpretation of Yoga in the 
sense of such "Character- Yoga". 

““ cf. another legend, pp. 274^5^. 



and more into the background. The ''harnessing’' now 
becomes the lifelong "yoking" of the will against sense 
impressions and emotional agitation, a never ceasing condi- 
tion of control and alertness; inner "collectedness", therefore, 
bnt at the same time persistent exercise of the will, together 
with discipline; Yoga^ accordingly, should be rendered by 
"yoking" and exercise, by discipline and inner control, but 
especially by composure or "collectedness". Similarly, 
the yogin or yuMa is the "self-yoker", the "striver", the 
man who is composed, disciplined, schooled.^ In his 
relation to God, again, he is "submissive" or, still better 
perhaps, "devout", because with this inner composure he 
directs his whole being to God, so that occasionally yogin 
can be regarded as equivalent to "pious" in general: even 
the pious worshippers of the devas may be called yogins, 
though certainly not in its typical sense, while yuktatama 
or yogavid^ would then mean "most pious" or simply 
"pious". But the v^ord also assumes the general, and still 
not properly typical, meaning of "exercise" or "practice"; 
thus Sdnkhya-Y oga indicates the exercise and practice of 
the Sdnkhya intellectual methods, while Bhakti-Yoga is culti- 
vation of Bhakti towards God. Finally, however, the signifi- 
cance of the term becomes so faint and generalized that the 
Chapter dealing with Arjuna's dejection may be entitled 
Vishada-Yoga — "Practice or Discipline in Dejection"! 

(7). The experience of transcendence in primitive Yoga, 
however, can be combined with the ascent to the worlds 
of the gods, and also with becoming a god; while on a still 
higher level, it may be associated with rising to the imper- 
sonal Brahman or to community, or indeed even unity, with 
the sole highest God Himself. But at the same time Yoga 
experience, as "such, could doubtless exist quite apart fron^ 
both Brahman and Isvara, that is to say as pure self- 

^ The jttendnya and hritatman 

2 ''Devoted to''; "knowing what is fitting". 

The Original Gita „ 




experience — as pure Katvalya-Yoga^; and it appears to my 
mind that it is the latter mode which corresponds most 
closely to the actual nature of Yoga, although on the other 
hand it is quite obvious that both Brahman doctrine and 
Isvara doctrine could utilize Yoga, in which case the result 
would be Sa-Brahma- or Sa-Isvara-Yoga,^ the latter then 
constituting a preliminary phase and substratum of the 
later BhakU principles.^ 

(5). Finally as to the term Karma-Yoga, In the sense 
of its expansion by Yoga this need only mean: ‘'practice 
in action''; this itself, however, would be Karma-mdrga, 
I believe therefore that, as contrasted with Sdnkhya-Yoga, 
Karma-Yoga is intended to stress all specific disciplinary 
and systematic “acts", but more especially the active and 
voHtional character of Yoga as against the theoretical 
attitude of the Sdnkhya “way of knowledge". In the 
next place, this becomes expanded into meaning that the 
genuine yogin, as a sannydsin (one whQ practises renuncia- 
tion), should not shrink from action in general but ought to 
practise it. Thus in spite of the indubitably close connec- 
tion between Sdnkhya and Yoga, both Karma-Yoga and 
Karma-mdrga present a profound and essential contrast 
with Sdnkhya, Yoga (to repeat) is no intellectual process 
but an act of will; and while Yoga can certainly appropriate 
Sdnkhya Psychology and utilize its “diflerentiation" {viveka), 
still its inner attitude remains markedly different. Its 
relation to action, too, is unlike that of Sdnkhya doctrine, 
since from the standpoint of the latter the exciting contest 
against the Sannydsa (renunciation) ideal can scarcely be 
properly understood: What does it matter to it whether 

^ This, in fact, clearly originates from the primitive magical 
siddha ideal, which required neither Brahman nor Isvara. Katvalya 
is isolation from the material world, with its resultant ecstatic 
abstraction. ^ 

® That is Yoga associated with Brahma, or Isvara, the Lord; its 
antithesis is An-livara-Yoga: — Yoga without God. ^ cf, p. 209 


anything is effected or not? But as one who exerts his 
will, on the contrary, the yogin's attitude towards action 
is naturally a different one, since he has, in fact, a certain 
interest in it as contrasted with the world-shunning sanny- 
ds^n. It is certainly true that for him too action has no 
essentially final aim, while equally alien to him is any 
''metaphysic of struggle and of deed'\^ In a certain sense, 
nevertheless, he requires action — ^that is for self-purification 
{dtma-visuddhaye) ; or in other words, as spiritual gymnastic 
which is directed, by means of actual accomplishment, 
towards the uninterrupted exercise and schooling of his 
superiority and freedom, since it is in this way that he 
continually subdues and overcomes his "attachment to the 
fruit of action'".^ 

Other important aspects of Yoga are discussed in Chapters 
VI and VIL 

^ An ‘Tndo- Aryan' ^ Metaphysics, still further, can scarcely be 
derived from Yoga. For as the excavations in Mahenjo-daro have 
made it seem probable, the t3rpical yogtn is the original product of 
Aryan India, and in that event the impressive doctrines of 
The GUd about Yoga might really testify to the fruitful effects of 
fusion between cultures and races. ^ The Gtta, iv 20. 



(i). As I have already observed, India’s most sacred writ 
— The Gita — ^is embedded in The Mahabhdrata ; and towards 
the end of this Epic another and very close parallel is to 
be found. An old story that is related there about Bhishma, 
the revered guru of the two contending factions in the 
Epic itself, the Kauravas and the Pandavas, was indubitably 
at an early period an actual part of the Epic, while its 
original content can still be conjectured to be the conciliatory 
termination of the fearful struggle, which was effected by 
the Pandavas honouring the most venerable figure on their 
opponents’ side, while on the other hand Bhishma acknow- 
ledges the justice of the Pandavas’ claims and reveres the 
divine form of Krishna, who is their supporter. To this 
there were presumably added parting words of advice to the 
new king, accompanied by wise precepts and admonitions 
as to proper regal demeanour. 

In the next stage, as we have also seen, this Literature 
became the home of those Treatises, streaming in in ever 
greater numbers, for which it was desired to obtain the 
sage’s authority, and which constitute the current loosely 
connected Moksha-dharma as an independent book. 

No one, I believe, can doubt that these actually are inter- 
polations that have gradually been added from time to time 
and which, still further, exhibit many nfiftual discordances 
as well as (in my opinion) occasional traces of attempts 
to correct, outdo or render innocuous earlier declarations, 
advanced from another viewpoint opposed to the writer’s 
own dogmas. 


These Treatises are usually introduced by questions 
submitted by the hearer, occasional apostrophes to him 
by name or by some honourable designation being also 
interposed in order to retain the framework of a conver- 
sation; but that all this is editorial revision is perfectly 
obvious to everyone. The separate Treatises, again, were 
either written with the specific intention of including them 
in the Moksha-dharma, in which case the writer himself 
appended the requisite loose references to the main topic, 
or they were already complete and subsequently adapted, 
by means of similar minor insertions, to the schema of a 
conversation between Bhishma and Yudhishthira. Cer- 
tainly the body of doctrine incorporated in The GUd is much 
more of a unity than is that of the Moksha-dharma] never- 
theless the desire to perceive homogeneity throughout its 
entire subject-matter seems to me dangerous. For even 
though separate quite complete Sections are encountered 
here, all well constructed internally and each having a 
distinctive character of its own, with clear indications (still 
further) that we are concerned with relatively independent 
separate Treatises, in which there sometimes appear very 
clearly defined and characteristic doctrines of either the 
current or developing schools of thought, still the desire for 
uniformity and homogeneity must not induce us to ignore 
these actualities of the situation. 

But, on the other hand, if underneath the entire fabric 
there is thrown into relief an original nucleus, forming a 
coherent whole as regards its significance and at the same 
moment exhibiting, not the language of doctrinal writings 
but rather the living speech of the Epic itself, and if (further- 
more) its coherence, however seriously impaired by inter- 
polations, nevertheless manifests itself unmistakably in the 
obvious interconnectedness of the different Sections, then 
the urgent problem presents itself of investigating this 
self-consistency in order to discover the actual foundational 

134 the original FORM OF THE BHAGAVAD-GlTA 

nucleus, and subsequently, it may be, to realize how this 
basis became the occasion for the interpolations. And if, 
in addition to all this, such a “basal nucleus” proves to have 
been originally no doctrinal nor scholastic work of any kind, 
but on the contrary a poem which, wholly devoid of directly 
instructional tendencies, recounts in a style perfectly 
adapted to its subject a strikingly impressive portion of 
that great tragedy which occurred on the Kuru field, and 
which takes the form, therefore, not of an instructor’s 
treatise but of the creation of a genuine epic poet, this is 
surely the best of all proofs that the “basal nucleus” has 
been actually discovered — and this as a part of the epic 
narrative itself. 

{2). The pnncipal theme of The GUa, then, is constituted 
by Arjuna’s personal position and its attendant circum- 
stances ; and Krishna’s utterances, so far as they correspond to 
this main situation, enjoy the primary and direct claim to 
originality. Everything therefore that is not included in, nor 
related to, this material must arouse the conjectmre of being 
a later interpolation. What then is “this main situation”? 

Having decided to begin the battle, Arjmia is overcome 
by vishada — ^by that profound dejection which is described 
in Chapter I of the poem; but it is a depression of the 
noblest kind, such as only a truly great story teller can 
invent and mould. For he sees arrayed against him men 
whom he himself profotmdly reveres and to whom he is 
deeply indebted, and finds himself compelled to stey relatives 
and friends, but above all his own “masters”, protected 
though they are by the sacred status of teacher; he must 
violate most holy laws) and he is overwhelmed by sorrow 
for the which he must thus lay upotflirmself: from his 
hands the bow Gandiva falls to the grormd; “I mil not 
fight ”'^-. — ^this is the gist of his speech. 

Arjuna's “sorrcsw”, therefore, together with his protest 


against this battle, is the obvious pivol upon which the 
whole ''situation’' turns; this, too, gives Krishna his own 
task of at last inducing Arjuna himself to declare* — "The 
perplexity has disappeared. I will fulfil Thy command”.^ 
Now although they are scattered throughout, and even 
concealed by, the main substance of The Glia, there is 
nevertheless a clear and logically coherent series of narra- 
tives all referring to this general situation; and it seems to 
me that if only we keep this pivotal feature, as I have just 
delineated it, firmly in view, then this primary factor, as 
such, can be distinguished from the verbose flood of general 
disquisitions, exactly as we can trace out any closely 
connected chain of mountain peaks. 

(j). Hermann Jacobi has already associated together the 
verses in Chapter II which express the indestructibility of 
the spiritual individual, and 4:he succeeding truly human 
appeal to Arjuna’s chivalry, as being Krishna's original 
reply^; and certainly, when judged by the standard of whg.t 
is adequate to the ‘situation already outlined, with perfect 
justice. But can we fail to see, nevertheless, that if there 
is anything at all in Krishna's attitude and responses which 
meets the demand, it is found in vv, 32-34 of Chapter XI, 
together with whatever necessarily pertains to the sense of 
these unique stanzas as their prolegomena? For, referring 
most explicitly to what is involved by the impending 
fearful slaughter, the Deity says: 

22 Kala am I, Destroyer, great and mighty, 

Appearing here all men to sweep away. 

And, without thee, would none of all these warriors, 
Here in their ranks arrayed, ever remain. 

23 By Me atom have they long since been routed, 

Be thou nought but My took 

^ XVIII. 73. 

^ Zeztschnft fur die Deutsche Morgenldndisc}^ Gesellschafi, Bd. 72, 

5 . 325. 


34 Drona and Bhishma too, and Jayadratha, 

And Kama with the others strong in battle, 

By Me already slain, slay thou. Be void of fear. 

'^No doubt the strenuous and human appeal to martial 
honour, and also the allusion to the impotence of bodily 
death to injure the eternal essence of all who are concerned, 
are expressions that fit the actual situation. Nonetheless 
they are obviously a mere introduction to something much 
higher, and at the same time to what is far more powerful 
m overcoming despondency and the stubborn rejection of 
the battle call. Now it is precisely this that finds utterance 
in these verses: for Krishna opens Arjuna’s eyes to the true 
significance of what appears to him as being wholly meaning- 
less and antagonistic to God, and to the implications which, 
in his delusion, he has never recognized nor even suspected. 
For the truth is that this gruesome and fearful battle is 
not the work of man, nor does man decide what is to happen 
here. Rather is the contest the Deed and the Will of God 
Himself, certainly incomprehensible, but also not to be 
judged by the human mind. Much profounder and far 
more in keeping, therefore, with the governing conditions 
than the line: 

Thou sorrowest for whom thou shouldst not sorrow, 
is the dictum : 

Be thou nought but My tooF * — 
the 'Tool'', that is to say, of the most terrible, yet at the 
same moment Supreme, Divine Majesty Itself. 

These words, therefore, should be called the principal 
verse of The Gtid, the carama sloka, since it is solely from 
them that Krishna's conversation with Arjuna receives its 
real significance. No generalized "theolegy" therefore, no 
Sdnkhya nor Yoga nor even Bhakti doctrines, has Krishna 
expounded to Arjuna; rather has he revealed to him the 
meaning of the situation in which he finds himself, and 
^ II, ii; XI. 33, 


with this his own inescapable task. At the same moment 
the epic poet has expressed the deepest sense which the old 
heroic myths and the stories of that horrible fratricidal 
struggle presented to him: — as being quite incomprehensible 
to shallow human contemplation, from beginning to end a 
tale of terror, a picture of dread horror, for so long as ever 
man's deeds shall continue to be measured by his own 
actions and according to human standards; and an Epic 
only when the curtain of human reflection is torn asunder 
so as to reveal, behind it, Isvara the Mighty. 

The magnificent Theophany of Chapter XI, therefore, is 
most intimately associated with the original context , for it 
reveals the Omnipotent and Universal One: and this in 
both Yih' ghora-mpa and His v^hva-mp(l — His 'Terrible, 
awful Form" and His "all Forms" — of which the former is 
still more momentous than the latter.^ 

{4). But Chapter X, 1-8, is equally closely involved, 
since it is obviously the direct preparation for the great. 
Theophany by means of Isvara's "supreme utterance", 
which He utters as the preface to the vision. For after 
Krishna has relieved Arjuna of his primary "care" and 
"sorrow", aroused as these had been by the annihilation of 
his opponents, and has at the same moment appealed most 
powerfully to his martial feelings, he raises the outstanding 
theme which is "higher" than all that has hitherto been 
said. Hence the connecting verse x. i, which prepares 
simultaneously for the climax — 

Now hear My supreme utterance. 

For what He now has to say is yet more sublime than any 
assurances of immortality or mere chivalrous comments: 
He will speak now as the Lord, as Isvara^. It is true that 

1 cf. p. 149. 

2 This is indicated by the use of capitals for pronouns, and 
of small initials when Krishna speaks in human form. 


He must declare what Bvara is; what He here says about 
Him, nevertheless, is no generalized teaching about God, 
but likewise quite evidently takes its place in strict relevance 
to the specific situation ; while if this latter feature is ignored 
the brevity of this '"supreme utterance'' must unfailingly 
excite surprise, since other passages referring to God are 
much more detailed. Equally must our wonder be aroused 
by the deeds here attributed to I^vara, since they seem at 
first sight to be remarkably paltry: in vv. 4-5, for example, 
the assurance that all types of mental states spring from 
God, and in v. 6 the scanty information that the wise men 
and the Manus of old days originated from Him. His 
"supreme utterance", however, is expressly to be found 
in the cardinal principle: — 

mattah sarvam pmvartaU: 

From Me everything arises.^ 

•Here all depends on this, and on this alone. For Arjuna 
contemplates man's actions and also his own deeds; conse- 
quently he is "troubled" in spirit both as to the guilt in- 
volved in his circumstances and his own guilt, while in his 
profound concern he regards himself as being the origin of 
his own action or inaction, and also as the one who, under 
these conditions, has to decide whether to fight or not. 
But, declares God to him: — ''From Me everything arises. It 
is not thou who givest buddhi to thyself — ^the ability to 
judge and to will rightly, knowledge, clear thinking and, in 
one word, all spiritual conditions such as these. All these 
come from Me. Thou 'sorrowest' for the great sages and 
the kings, who are arrayed against thee. But from Me 
have proceeded the primeval rishis aod the Manus — ^the 
primitive wise men and the ancient kings — ^from whom 
these sages and kings also, here on the battlefield, are 
descended. N^t thine are they, but Mine; and not thine 

1 X, 8. 


is the sorrow over them, but Mine. Thus {v. 8 ) thinks he 
who thinks rightly and is devoted to God.’' 

This then is the most obvious explanation why God says 
apparently so little here about the Divine Nature, and why 
He selects such seemingly incidental examples of the Divine 
Power. For He says precisely what is adapted to Arjuna's 
circumstances, neither more nor less; while at the same 
time His utterance preludes what He intends immediately 
and visibly to reveal of Himself in a mighty vision; and in 
His word: 'Trom Me everything arises”, it is already 
implied that from Him too proceed the fearful events about 
to take place, as well as the reproof: — '"Be thou nought but 
My tool”. 

(5). I believe, still further, that this Section, x. 1-8, 
which plainly meets the demands of the situation, was (as 
I shall show later) directly connected m the original Text 
with II. 37, being immediately followed by Arjuna’s request 
in XI. i ff. Both of these passages are closely linked with* 
Arjuna’s own words in xi. 1-3: — 'Thou hast proclaimed the 
supreme secret of the true Self. Through this Thy Word 
my bewilderment is gone. As it is appointed to beings to 
exist and to pass away, Thou hast taught me. And likewise 
hast Thou taught me Thy imperishable Majesty ” Thus 
far, then, Arjuna has heard three declarations; and these 
are precisely the portions of the Text which I myself regard 
as original, while Arjuna’s summary of their content is in 
fact a critical canon for what has already appeared m the 
original Text, and what (on the other hand) cannot have 
been included therein. For at this point Arjuna acknow- 
ledges having learnt three truths from Krishna: "the secret 
of the true Self {Aditydtmanff, "existence and passing away”, 
and finally "Thy imperishable Majesty”; three principles 
that correspond as closely as possible to the contents of 
those Sections which I have already selecied as original. 
In order to remove Arjuna’s soka — ^his sorrow and care — 


for the opponents who are to be slain by him, Krishna has 
in fact imparted to him (first) — to ll. 37 — the great primal 
secret of the indestructibihty of the “true Self” [Adhyatman) . 
This “true Self” is not what naive intelhgence takes it to 
be — ^not mere “life-force” {asu) nor the visible body, but 
rather the dehin which must be distinguished from the 
deha, the bearer of the body, and which as such is not affected 
by the fortunes of the body and its mere “life-force”, 
and which does not die when the latter perishesT In 
the second place, Krishna at once proceeds to instruct 
him about the nature of “existing and passing away”; 
“passing away” pertains to the bodies which come and 
“go”, and to their asu, while true Being, which is at the 
same moment indestructible Being, exists for the spiritual 
bearer of the body himself. Thirdly, in x. 1-8, Krishna has 
proclaimed this “supreme utterance”: — that concerning 
the great God and His Majesty as being that of Isvara, 
■“from Whom everything arises”. These three truths, and 
nothing further, has Krishna proclaimed; and these three, 
again, and nothing further, are here accepted by Arjuna. 
But he does not admit having received from Krishna either 
Sdnkhya, Yoga or B^aAh’-doctrines, nor any others, and 
any such interpolations as were added are at once con- 
demned as being later insertions by this w'holly schematic 
recapitulation in Arjuna’s speech. 

(6). In support of Krishna’s words concerning His own 
Divine and “imperishable Majesty” {Mdhaimyam) there now 

1 In Krishna's utterance the term dehin is no doubt quite naively 
understood as a fluml, and in that respect the commentator 
Kamanuja is quite correct. For Arjuna laments that he must 
destroy this individual Bhishma, this Drona, these kings and 
relations, so that any reference to the truth that the Universal 
'SRorld-mman is not mortal could have comforted him but little. 
And Krishna says (ii. 12) :~*‘Never at any time was I not, nor thou, 
nor these lords, of^men. Nor shall any of us ever cease to be here- 


follows, skilfully introduced by the desire expressed by 
Arjuna, the magnificent description of the Theophany in 
Chapter XI; and its aim, once again, is not generalized 
theological instruction, but solely the awakening in Arjuna's 
mind of the intuitive recognition of the Omnipotent Majesty 
depicted in x. 1-8, which intends to realize its divine goal, 
incomprehensible to man though it is, here on this field of 
death, and together with this the knowledge that Arjuna 
himself is nothing but the instrument in the hand of Divine 
Majesty, The immediate implication that must be per- 
ceived is that Arjuna has been seriously self-deceived, has 
indeed been guilty even of presumption, in believing that 
he must act according to his own absolute authority. In 
yielding to his dejection {vishdda) he has, though certainly 
quite unconsciously, been guilty of ahamkdra, of egotism 
and conceit, has been presumptuous, has forgotten, or not 
been aware, that he intended to encroach on the majestic 
prerogative of God Himself. Thus the absolutely necessary* 
reverse of the glorious and sublime divine manifestation, 
and especially of the words '‘Be thou nought but My took’, 
is (on the one hand) the summons to direct his thoughts 
towards God instead of following his own reflections, to be 
mindful of God, to be maccittas, followed by the promise 
that he will in this way overcome all the '‘difficulties” of 
his soul which he has encountered owing to his sorrow and 
his vishdda) and again (on the other hand) the replacing of 
Arjuna within his own proper sphere, the disclosure of his 
creaturely superhia in the face of numinous Omnipotence, 
the revelation of the "presumption” involved in his refusal 
to do battle, unconscious though all this has been. Both 
of these principles "'are expressed with perfect clarity in 
xviii. 58 ff.y which must be connected with v. 61, and attain 
their obvious conclusion in vv. 72-73. This entire Section, 
still further, must be read in direct association with xi. 
51: — "Therefore direct thy thoughts to Me; then through 


My Grace thou shalt surmount all difficulties”.^ Now these 
''difficulties” are not the misery of samsdra, nor any evil 
m its theological sense; those actually referred to are indi- 
cated quite clearly in Arjuna's reply: — "The perplex^ty has 
disappeared. By Thy Grace I have gained prudence. I 
stand steadfast, freed from doubt, I will fulfil Thy com- 
mand .”2 His "difficulties”, that is to say, were moha, 
hvara-smnU-ndsa, samdeha: — delusion, corruption of the 
teaching of the Lord, doubt and disobedience. — sarvadur- 
gdni; the term durga meaning an arduous and narrow pass 
through a forest, or over a stream or mountain, and more 
especially a defile^ or "blind alley” into which one has 
stumbled. This is precisely what has happened to Arjuna; 
he will escape from it all, nevertheless, if he no longer 
thinks about what is not his own concern, if rather he is 
mindful of God Who has just manifested Himself to him as 
Lord and as the cause of what is happening, and Whose 
"activity he has perceived. "But if,” God continues, "from 
arrogance, thou wilt not obey, thou shalt perish.”^ We 
must certainly assume that, owing to interpolation and 
editing, transitional matter may have been eliminated at 
this stage ; nevertheless the context and the logical connection 
still remain perfectly clear. Regarded from a higher point 
of view, it was due to ahamkdra — ^presumption — or (as 
Garbe translated this) "pride”, that Arjuna, wishing to 
follow his own choice and opinion, declared: — “I will not 
fight”. ^ This was ahamkdra, "/ say”, defiance of God, as 
against Whom there can be no arbitrary "I say”: defiance 
by the creature, who fondly believes that in the face of 
the Universal and Omnipotent he can either be, or will or 
do, something entirely of his own power! 

And it is at the same time impotent defiance since, as 
Krishna proceeds in 59-60: — ^"However defiant thoumayest 

^ XVIII. 58. 2 8 Apte's Sansknt-Enghsh Dictionary, 

^ xvm. 58. 5 n. 9^ 


be now, still despite all thy present reluctance thou wilt 
be driven to fight by thine own martial nature, bound by 
the Power of Karman — that is by the compulsive Power of 
Destiny, which is born from thine own nature''. But 
what is at first designated as inborn nature, and its resultant 
fateful compulsion, is immediately set in its proper light 
(v, 61) ; it is nothing else than the irresistible Power of God 
Who alone effects all and Who, dwelling in man's heart, 
with invisible cords guides and constrains the creature 
by His Maya — ^His Divine Power — ^just as the showman 
does with his puppets on the stage. These words are 
evidently the reverse of the preceding passage — mattah 
sarvam pmvartate — 'Trom Me everything arises", and '"Be 
thou nought but My tool". 

The following verses however, 62”65, are obvious inter- 
polations of later specifically Bhakti doctrine with which, in 
that form, the original material was in no way concerned, 
while V. 65, still further, is a literal citation from ix. 34. * 
Vv, 66 and 72-73, on the other hand, undoubtedly revert 
most closely to the context of the general schema. For 
with V. 66 Krishna returns to the starting-point of the whole 
discussion, and it is with this in mind that this verse must 
be understood, since its meaning is in strict accordance with 
the situation. In this connection, in fact, Krishna has no 
occasion whatever to instruct Arjuna not to be perturbed 
about the various dharmas (duties) in the ritual sense, 
which may imply Vedic ‘'religious usages"; rather must he 
take into consideration Arjuna's soka which has been 
tormenting him, and from which the entire dialogue arose. 
Arjuna had been troubled in mind not about “religious 
usages", but becauSS he is about to violate the sacred law 
of reverence for his masters and throw into confusion the 
dharmas of family, kindred and nobility, thereby burdening 
liimself with grievous sin. What Krishna means, again, 
by the dharmas is not “religious usages" in general, but 


just these holy dharmas about which Arjuna has been 
‘"sorrowing”. Nor is it any soka in general that Krishna 
here wishes to allay; rather do His words, "'grieve not”, 
refer to this wholly concrete soka arising from the actual 
situation. His injunction in v. 66, therefore, is simply: — 
"'Abandon thy care and sorrow for the dharmas about 
which thou hast grieved by leaving them to Me, from 
Whom all dharmas spring. Mine is the care for them, not 
thine. Cease also to grieve over the sin of having presum- 
ably violated these dharmas. If, in the true knowledge 
that in all this thou art nought but My tool, thou takest 
refuge in Me, bowing to My Will, then will I release thee 
from all sin.” Solely from this standpoint can these words 
receive their completely concrete significance, and for this 
we certainly cannot substitute the wholly different sense 
that the devotee of Bhakti religion need not concern himself 
with the ritual dharmas of Vedic religion. And thus 
Krishna, returning specifically to t]ie painful problems 
originally involved in Arjuna’s state of mind, asks the final 
question which is most closely associated with v. 66: — 
"Hast thou heard this, with attentive mind? Has thy 
perplexity disappeared?” and Arjuna replies: — "I will fulfil 
Thy command”.^ All these Sections, therefore, are inti- 
mately connected with one another, so that in their original 
foim they cannot possibly have been interrupted by 
vv, 67-71, which were the product of completely different 
motives and are, moreover, obviously different in their style. 

The Original GUd, then, ended quite simply as follows * — 
After the Deity, returning from His awful Form {ghorarupa), 
has resumed His human guise, while Arjuna asserts that he 
too has now recovered from his state df ecstatic terror and 
is once again himself and in his normal senses, God draws 
the plain conclusion from the great revelation: — 

XVIII. 58: Therefore direct thy thoughts to Me, then 
1 xvin. 72, 73. 


through My Grace thou shalt surmount all difficulties — thy 
sorrow for those about to be slain and for thy supposed 
violation of many sacred laws of family and kin, thy sorrow 
over sinful guilt and because thou wilt go to Hell, thy 
dejection and doubt, thy confusion . . . 

66: Fret not thyself,^ therefore, because of all the ‘laws'' 
(about whose violation thou hast grieved); rely (not on 
thyself) but on Me alone. I will free thee from all the sins 
(over which thou hast sorrowed). 

(7). “Abandon thy ‘sorrow'; fight, with the knowledge 
that thou hast to perform not thy human duties, of thine 
own will and power, but My work, as My tool." It is this 
great, yet simple, principle that the epic poet wished to 
express, and not to speculate on all kinds of theories, nor 
teach the Sdnkhya, Yoga nor any other systems; a consider- 
ation that induces me to proceed to examine still more 
closely the first portion of Krishna's speech (in ii. 11-37). 
This too seems to me to have been originally much simpler,* 
and only subsequently to have been disintegrated by 
technicalities, which to advance as such was altogether 
contrary to the true sense of the situation. Oldenberg, 
in fact, realized that an interpolation begins at ii. 39 ff- 
which, while lacking strictly systematic formulation, ex- 
pounds a popular moral Yoga with definite hints of Sdnkhya; 
and the same person who added this interpolation also 
inserted what precedes, and elaborated it with his later 
insertion already in view. A survey of the earlier Section, 
II. 11-30, shows that vv, 20, 22, 29, at once attract attention 
as being especially recognizable merely owing to the changed 
versification of the finely resounding Upendravajra strophes; 
for if these are f&d without being interrupted by the 
intervening Uoka strophes, they clearly form a well-rounded 
and interconnected whole. Following on the magnificent, 

^ Petersburger Worterbuch gives *To abandon to its fate” for 
parityaj; here then it means ”to leave alone” — “disregard”. 

The Original Gita . K 


yet at the same time homely, introductory slokas of vv. 11-13, 
and ending in the brief summary of the iloka in v. 30, they 
fully meet the demands of the situation and do not really 
require, in order to soothe Arjuna’s sorrow for those about 
to be slain, the intrusive and somewhat bombastically pedan- 
tic sloka verses 14-19, 33-28. These Upendravajra strophes 
express simply the great principle of the indestructibility 
of our personal adhyatman — of our spiritual being which, 
equally eternal with Deity, escapes the transitoriness of 
ail material bodies. Thus they adequately fulfil Krishna’s 
purpose of relieving Arjuna’s sorrow for those about to be 
slain, so that anything further is quite superfluous. The 
accordance with old Upanishad ideas is very evident, but 
on the other hand specific Sdnkhya doctrines do not appear 
at all in these verses, while what material of this kind has 
been added clearly and palpably differs in its instructive 
style from the impressive, yet concise, plainness of the 
original words. What then is the relevance here of the 
disquisitions in vv. 14-19, which have no reference whatever 
to Arjuna, and similarly as regards the specific Sdnkhya 
doctrine that the dtman, as such, is not active? What 
Krishna wishes to say in Chapter XI is in fact completely 
different from all this : — ^not that the dtman itself does not 
act, but rather that God is universally active, while man 
is nothing but His tool. The entire situation relates to the 
contrast between God, Who alone effects all, and the 
creature as the conduit and receptacle of His activity, and 
not to the wholly diverse antitheses between the Pumsha 
(person or self), in itself inactive, and the operative Prakriti 
(Nature or Matter). Thus it appears to me that, originally, 
11-13 formed the thesis to the Sublime SlJng of the Immortal 
Spirit as this resounds in the firmly consolidated strophes 
20, 22, 29, sunomarized as these are in the simple practical 
application of v. 30, which reverts to the hloka and thus 
constitutes the direct transition to 31-37. Here, finally. 


following on the lofty flight of the dtman idea, and wholly 
in keeping with the situation, a most impressive ethic of 
nobility and chivalry is appealed to in order to arouse 
Arjuna energetically from his vishdda, which from this 
standpoint must appear as nothing but frailty. 

Krishna’s first words addressed to Arjuna’s "'sorrow”, 
therefore, are in no sense learned theories, but homely and 
consolatory maxims about the imperishableness and inde- 
structibility of those whom Arjuna believes he must and 
can destroy; and there succeeds a powerful appeal from one 
warrior to another who is about to succumb to a momentary 
wave of feeling and abandon the attitude best befitting a 
true soldier; both Sections being equally in accord with the 
lofty martial culture presented in The Mahabhdrata. But 
this does not imply that one of the warriors expounds to 
the other philosophical subtleties which altogether transcend 
the framework of the situation, Krishna begins, then, as 
follows • — 

II. II : Thou utterest wise things — ^and yet thou sorrowest 
for whom thou shouldst not sorrow. Whether vitality^ 
has vanished or not — ^for that the wise grieve not. . . . 

Bnef and pointed are these words, courageous and sus- 
tained by old established authority; and to them Krishna 
adds his appeal to Arjuna’s martial honour, so as to arouse 
him completely from his vishada, in terms equally concise 
and pregnant, that are wholly natural in the mouth of one 
who is also quite familiar with the ancient and sacred doc- 
trine of the dtman. But as characterized by their appeal 
to those chivalrous feelings and emotions which they seek 
most strenuously to awaken, they would indubitably present 
the harshest possiblS contrast to the glorification of Sdnkhya 
apathy enjoined in vv. 14-15. There can, therefore, be 
not the slightest dubiety as to which of these passages is 

^ That IS merely the '*lif e-force” (asu), which is not the actual 
being of the indestructible dehtn. 


the more genuine and more in keeping with the demands 
of the situation — Krishna's appeal on the one hand, or on 
the other these abstract scholastic terms and maxims. 

(5). I believe, therefore, that the following Sections 
(forming Chapter I) should be read in succession and in 
close connection ; — 

Chapters WI. 13, 20, 22, 29-37; X. 1-8; XI. i~6, 8-12, 
14, 17, 19-36, 41-51; XVIII. 58-61, 66, 72-73. At the 
same time it should be borne in mind that later editorial 
changes may well have occurred in these very passages too, 
so that owing either to disintegration, or to the connection 
of interpolations with what preceded or followed, some 
verses may have been eliminated or, on the other hand, 
have been assimilated. On the whole, nevertheless, there 
can be recognized in this torso one unitary train of thought, 
style and spirit; but above all there will appear certain 
features perfectly adapted to the concrete situation, which 
ut the same time differ substantially from any kind of syste- 
matic or instructive treatment, and bear the hallmark of 
lofty epic poetry. Its intrinsic purpose, to repeat, is not to 
expound dogma, but rather to impress the mind most 
powerfully with the stupendous destiny of Man against 
the background of Omnipotent and Omnipresent Deity, 
realizing inscrutable decrees through human action; and it 
attains this goal in a way that has scarcely its equal in any 
Epic in the world. 

(9). In his discussion of the depiction of the Theophany 
in Chapter XI, Garbe placed in brackets verse 7, then 13, 
15-16, 18-19, and finally 37-40. This very probably 
accorded with his conviction that The Original Gita was a 
sort of manual of Bhakti religion which'^had been to some 
extent corrected by Vedantic Advaita influences. But in 
this respect the following considerations should be borne 
in mind. It is undeniable that the vision which Arjuna 
beholds is intended primarily to describe not the viivarupa 


form of God — ^not His “all-forms"' — ^but His ghorarupa as 
that of the Awful and Majestic Being.^ Arjnna sees God, 
then, endowed with the ancient mythical features of the 
Majestic and the Terrible, many-headed, many-bodied,^ 
fiercely glowing. He perceives Him as the Being Who 
brings about the fearful event which is even now about to 
occur on the battlefield, in a guise that is clearly repeated 
in the representations of the frightful Mahdkdla: thus, in 
fact, God describes Himself: — 

Kala am I, Destroyer, great and mighty, 
Appearing here all men to sweep away.^ 

The primary purpose here, therefore, is not to reveal a 
vision of the Cosmic and Universal Form, but to convey, 
in the most awe-inspiring way, the impression of One Who, 
according to His own decree, when His time is fulfilled — 
when, “great and mighty”, He carries out His deed of 
wrath — directs His judgment upon the people and, in the 
form of Kala, destroys them. His own Figure is quite 
dtstinct equally from the spectator and from the divine 
beings who, while approaching Him in adoration from all 
sides, still do not form parts of Him. Those who are to 
be slain, again, are absorbed in Him, but exactly like moths 
in a consuming fire : here once more the meaning is not that 
they pertain to His Universal Form, but rather that He 
destroys and devours them. We must also agree with 
Garbe that the words in 37-40 are in marked contrast, m 

1 cf p 137, 

2 Originally this does not mean that God contains the Universe 
within Himself, bnt^i^as totally difierent motives. I may refer to 
my GoUhett und GottJieiten der alien Aviev, p. 35. Many heads, arms 
and bodies are expressions of the numinonsly terrible, not specu- 
lative symbols of Universal Unity. In the same sense must the 
Vedic hymn, Pumsha-sukta [v i), be understood, so far as its primary 
meaning is concerned, cf. Vedic Hymns (E J. Thomas). 

® XI. 32. 


both terminology and style, with the homely, yet noble and 
straightforward, confession of z;. 43 . But the most important 
point is that they disintegrate the evident structure of the 
whole Section and distort what seems to me to be its in- 
tended effect For if vv. 37-40 are omitted (together with 
the words in v, 18, which themselves are merely a wholly 
superfluous anticipation of 37 jf.) then the avowal of v. 43 
proves to be the dominant ctdmination to which the entire 
Theophany is plainly intended to lead; nor can there be any 
doubt that this was its original purpose. For not before 
V. 43, and quite justifiably so, does this confession gain its 
rightful position as the final consummation which crowns 
the whole structure. And thus the Deity attains His 
consistent aim : — ^Arjuna's recognition and acknowledgement 
of Him as what He has represented Himself to be in His 
introductory ''supreme utterance'' in x. i, as truly the 
Mighty and Sole Isvara. This extremely impressive final 
effect, in fact, is most grievously impaired by the antici- 
patory interpolations which, moreover, in marked contrast 
with vv. 43-44, are simply current cliches which might be 
associated at will with every great god, and with which, 
indeed, in the long run even a Garuda^ might be adored. 
And finally: in v. 5 God promises that Arjuna shall see His 
manifold rupas — the different supernatural beings of various 
kinds which are not so much parts of God as veritable 
rupas or, in other terms, forms assumed by God Himself; 
and this too, primarily, means something altogether different 
from Arjuna perceiving the Universe as contained in God. 
For these reasons taken together, therefore, it is to my 
mind probable that the verses bracketed by Garbe are 
actually intrusions.^ 

But on the other hand, it would unquestionably be 
incorrect to suppose that the idea of a Personal Universal 

1 X. 30. 

® In his own Textj however, Otto excludes only v. 18, not 19. 


God, and more specifically of Vishnn-Narayana-Vasndeva, 
Who is One with the whole World and includes this within 
Himself, first of all originated under the infinence of the 
Advaita doctrine of Non-duality; it may be, indeed, much 
older than all Advaita and all Vedanta. If my own deriva- 
tion of the Vishnu idea is correct,^ such a conception arose 
very early from the fundamental notion of a Vishnu- 
Vasudeva itself. In the Svetdsvatara Upanishad this is 
attached to Kara, that is to Siva, and in this context it does 
not abrogate the wholly personal and exalted status of this 
god. The idea of a personal World-God, still further, 
containing within Himself simultaneously every other god 
and also all other existents, subsists in just the same form 
in regions beyond India itself — ^in Tangaroa (Polynesia) 
for example; while even Garbe must allow the vikvamurti 
— the ''Figure umversah' — ^to remain in v. 46. Not from 
the impersonal Brahman, therefore, does God derive His 
Universal Form; on the contrary, it may in all seriousness 
be asked whether the idea of a Being in the Form of the 
Universe is in complete accordance with the original notion 
of Brahman as magic Power, as well as with the style in 
which its original predicates were expressed, or whether 
ideas of this type were not transferred to Brahman from 
originally theistic notions of a vUvarupin. Later on I shall 
discuss the suggestion that the occasional use of the terms 
Brahman and Brahma-bhava is by no means always an 
attempt at Vedantic correction, but on the contrary an 
appropriation of the word Brahman, and an arrangement 
of ideas about Brahman, from the theistic point of view 
which may imply, at the same time, an explicit subordination 
of Brahman to Isvara. 

If, in the next place, we seek an explanatory analogy to 
the Theophany m Chapter XI of The Gitd, we can scarcely 

^ Zeitschnft fur Missionshunde und Rehgionswissenschaft, October 
1934 * 


overlook that advanced by the epic poet himself very 
shortly before The GUd in The Mahabhdraia, vi. 131.-^ This 
Section depicts Krishna, unaccompanied and in a final 
attempt at negotiation, as having visited the enemies' camp, 
where Duryodhana entertains the hostile design of capturing 
him. But Krishna scornfully addresses him • — 'Thou deem- 
est that I am here alone, and thy design is to overcome me 
and make me thy prisoner. But here with me are all the 
Pdndavas, and likewise the Andhakas and the Vrishnis, 
And here with me too are the ddttyas and the rudras, the 
vasus together with the great rishis/' He spake, and loud 
laughed Kesava. But out from him, as he laughed, sprang 
forth in pairs, and plainly to be seen, all (these) deities. 
As big as one’s thumb, there were the thirty gods, radiant 
with flame. On his back was Brahma, and on his breast 
Rudra. The four World guardians were on his (four) 
arms, Agni came forth from his mouth. And the ddttyas, 
the sddhyas, the vasus, as also the two asvtns, the maruts 
together with Indra, likewise the vt^vedevas, the yakshas, 
the gandharvas and the snake-spirits. Out of his arms came 
Sankarshana (Krishna’s brother), Dhanafijaya (Arjuna) 
and Bhima, Yudhishthira and the son of Madri. Then all 
sorts of weapons from Krishna’s many arms, and out of his 
eyes, nose and ears came forth great and terrible ones, with 
smoke and fiery heat, and from his pores the sun’s rays. 

(§). Thousand-footed, hundred-armed and thousand- 
eyed was the majestic one. The region of the ndgas^ (the 
Underworld) was to be seen on his ankles, the sun and 
moon stood in his eyes, the planets were around him on 
all sides. The Upper Worlds were in his belly, streams and 
oceans were his sweat, his bones the n>t>untains, the trees 
his hair. The opening and closing of his eyes were day 
and night. . . . 

The interesting feature of this passage is that in the old 

^ The Bombay Edition, 1907. 2 Serpents with human heads. 


Edition of The Mahdbhdrata,^ and also in Roy's translation, 
the second Half (from the sign § onwards) ts omittedy which 
suggests that this second Part is a later addition, so that 
we discover here a definite tendency on the part of the 
interpolators, which becomes equally clearly noticeable in 
the passages already referred to as bracketed by Garbe. 

The first Part, then, makes no mention whatever of any 
visvarupay but describes the Mdyd of an all-powerful Mdyin, 
and exhibits him in his ghorarupa; and only subsequently 
is there any attempt to derive from this the visvarupa of 
the Universal God. The deities, again, which the Mdyin 
magically produces are not properly parts of him, but 
rather his rupas which he at that moment blows forth from 
himself; and in this manner colossal miraculous power and 
awful superior force are primarily implied. All this illumi- 
nates the Theophany m The GUd XI, and constitutes a 
criterion for eliminating some of its interpolations. This, 
nonetheless, does not involve discarding a viivamurtin or 
'Tigure universal" as subsisting behind the great Mdyin 
of this Chapter. 

y The quotation from The Mahdbhdrata (vi. 131), again, is 
instructive with regard to the epic poet's own treatment of 
the incidents. For the mighty Mdyd also, which he brings 
on the scene in this passage, relates solely and completely 
to the situation, it is to this, and not to theological doctrines, 
that it is intended to contribute; and this shows, still further, 
that the epic expedient of the Theophany is ready to his 
hand, so that he can utilize this whenever the occasion 
arises, and this removes all suspicion as regards the origi- 
nality of Chapter XI of The GUd. Finally, despite the close 
similarity betweeit^these two passages, each nevertheless 
is quite specifically constructed and introduced with a direct 
view to the relevant situation: — ^in the one the mighty 
Being Who turns into ridicule the miscreant's design, and 
^ Calcutta, 1836. 

154 the original FORM OF THE BHAGAVAD-GlTA 

in the other the powerful One Who breaks down the aham- 
]^am — the egotistic presumption — of the creature by mani- 
festing Himself as the sole and actual Actor in the horrors 
of battle, and at the same time revealing to the reluctant 
spectator his own limitations in being simply an instrument 
and nothing more. 

(jo). The epic poet has an exact knowledge of the current 
classification of the Vedic gods, which had long since 
acquired its own systematic terminology, as well as of their 
names; so that he is certainly no longer, like the gopas in 
The Harivamsa, outside the Vedic atmosphere. He is 
familiar, too, with the idea of the Adhydtman (the true Self) 
and with the ancient words of wisdom relating to this, 
being in this respect dependent on traditions which as such, 
undeniably, need by no means have become wholly incorpor- 
ated within The Vpanishads, but which are clearly developed 
and contained in these. The Isvara of The G%td XI, never- 
theless, is not derived from Brahmanic-Vedic tradition; in 
this respect Garbe was quite correct. Still further, since 
our epic poet was a votary of Krishna he must likewise 
have been a bhagavatd and in close connection with the 
Bhdgavata tradition. His Isvara, nonetheless, is not for 
this reason simply the God “of’' Bhakti religion, and he had 
no intention of writing a dogmatic treatise on technical 
Bhakti: — a feature which Garbe failed to perceive. For 
wheresoever it arose, the consciousness of God which reveals 
itself here demands in the first place to be apprehended in 
itself and in its own specific character, freed from all sec- 
tarian interpolations. For Bhakti theology, like the rival 
Moksha doctrines, has as its proper object the theme of 
supermundane redemption. This, however, never arises in 
the plot of the Epic itself, nor again in the dialogue between 
Krishna and Arjuna. What these are actually concerned 
with is absolute subjection to the Almighty Will of God, 
Who is exalted far above all mankind and all human 


interests; this is undoubtedly quite incomprehensible, but 
for that very reason it is all the more binding. Traces of 
this God must not be sought in the ancient Brahman, with 
which He has not the faintest shadow of an attribute in 
common; nor, again, in the Universal Woild-dtman. He 
may be able to subject both of these to Himself, and even 
to assimilate them, but this only in such a way as to sub- 
ordinate them to Himself. This God, therefore, in what- 
soever manner He was preluded, originated purely and 
wholly from that numinous awareness of Majesty which I 
have discussed in The Idea of the Holy! He is, therefore, 
the God of absolute predestination, as indeed vv. xi. 32-33 
exhibit Him; for here God demonstrates that, independently 
of and before all human will and action, the future has 
long ago been unalterably determined by Him, that all 
human will is utterly powerless against Him and His sole 
activity, and that man is nothing but the conduit for His 
operations, against \^hich the superbia of ahamkdra struggles 
— and struggles impotently, as xvin. 60, 61, proceed to show. 
We find additional traces of this Almighty Being, Who is 
the sole Actor, in the impressive dialogue between Draupadi 
and Yudhisthira in The Mahabhdrata, Vanaparvan 30.^ 
Draupadi’s knowledge about this Omnipotent God is derived 
from obscure and ancient report, and He is also described 
in almost exactly the same terms in The Original Gita, 
XVIII. 61. Her feelings rebel against Him, and she advances 
the arguments commonly opposed to the numinous idea of 
the predestinating and solely acting God. Her words, 
nonetheless, give an unmistakable impression of how 
deeply this mighty intuition of God, obtainable from no 
phase whatever of*Nature mythology, must at one time 
have existed in certain spheres of Indian life. 

1 Pp. 14#., 20 jf, 

^ cf. India's Religion of Grace and Christianity Compared and 
Contrasted, pp, 


If we search for a parallel to this I^vara, we find it most 
indubitably in the intense intuition of God in Job. Here 
is exactly the same God, in the face of Whose inscrutability 
all creatures are silent and dumb, and yet find at the same 
time inner idnti, peace, in the experience of the Transcen- 
dently Powerful. We discover Him, again, in St. Paul’s 
question: — “Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed 
it. Why hast Thou made me thus?”; and these parallels 
plainly warn us against deriving such religious intuitions 
from any sectarian sources whatever, and still more from 
“blood and soil”; for Job was an Edomite — a Semite— while 
St. Paul was a Jew. They place us on our guard equally 
against perceiving the exalted feeling of equality and 
relationship with “Ultimate Reality” as the peculiar attitude 
of Aryan-Indian religion, in contrast with the “absolute 
feeling of dependence” of certain perverse Jewish souls. 
In The Gita, XI, ISvara is no “Ultimate Reality” to which 
precedent reahties should lead, but rather the “Wholly 
Other” which is alien and absolutely supenor to all 
“Reality”, standing over against it in absolute antithesis. 
And the emotion aroused by Him is certainly not the pride 
of existential affinity, but on the contrary the vanishing 
into nothingness in the face of that which alone exists and 
acts. “My tool and nothing more.” 

- If, however, we insist on looking for historical origins of 
this concept of God, then to me only one seems possible; 
and this not the specific Vishnu idea, but that of the austere 
and magnificent, yet terrible Rudra; as to which a word or 
two more. For since our epic poet is a Krishna worshipper, 
while the Krishna cult was undeniably replete with Bhakti, 
which means with powerfully emotioiiSl love aspects, we 
must assume that already, and before his own day, contact 
and reciprocal permeation had subsisted between the 
Vasudeva-Vishnu cult on the one hand, and the active 
influences of Rudra religion on the other. Connections 


between Arjuna and Rudra, in fact, appear in many forms, 
and clearly and emphatically, in The Mahdbhdrata, so that 
the question may well be pressed whether, once the legendary 
material of The Mahdbhdrata had transcended those primi- 
tive stages of Vedic polytheism of which it still bears so 
many traces, the Epic was not in the main markedly 
affected by the Rudra idea. The striking expression in 
Arjuna’s confession in xi. 43 : — 

Thou art most venerable, the world's reverM Guru, 

points very definitely in this direction, since in its specific 
sense Guru is not Vasudeva, but precisely Rudra~Siva,^ 
while in Vanaparvan 30-31 the obscure god of predestina- 
tion is called Rana; this, however, is one of the ancient 
characteristic names of Rudra-Siva. 

(ij). That later interpolations were added, and this in 
such a way that entire Treatises, and gradually collections 
of these, were inserted, in which very similar subject mattei; 
was sometimes expounded and repeated, but on other 
occasions contents markedly different and self-contradictory, 
intended to outdo, correct or even exclude what had 
previously been included, is placed beyond any possible 
doubt by the Moksha-dharma. In the so-called AnugUd 
in fact (as was observed in beginning this Chapter), an 
attempt has even been made to supplement, if not actually 
to replace, the entire completed GUd by a later new work. 
But the immeasurably profound and powerful content of 
The Original GUd must have challenged any such treatment; 
and this was accompanied by the desire to secure, for 
certain special doctrines, the protection of this great Divine 
Form, while the association of related, or supposedly 
related, ideas also operated, together with the wish to fit 
these noble divine thoughts into one's own ways of thinking. 

1 It is remarkable, too, that Krishna’s brother is called Sankar- 
shana; this is a typical Rudra name. 


Finally, there was the active impulse to insert corrections 
wherever these ideas too painfully disintegrated the frame- 
work of any given intellectual attitude; and thus various 
interpolations arose from Glosses following distinct tenden- 
cies, and this not merely in single instances, since complete 
systematic and coherent doctrinal Treatises (as for example 
in the Moksha-dharma) were written specifically for insertion 
and then added on. But the analytical investigation of 
all these separate Treatises, the isolation of their individual 
characteristics, and the substantiation of specific inter- 
polations, have been undertaken in the next Chapter. 

{12). Any fi nal substantiation of the distinctions that I 
have suggested would necessitate a rendering and elucidation 
of the entire Gita. Here, however, I shall add only a few 
explanatory comments on the important Section of The 
Original Cntd, x. 1-8. 

If all the theological disquisitions of the preceding Sections 
had actually been completed this brief, concise and conclu- 
sive passage would be wholly superfluous. For after aU 
the "highest” and “supreme” utterances which anticipate 
it, this dictum would not be genuinely “supreme”, but a 
virtual triviality. Particularly pointless would be d. 2, 
in which Krishna imparts to Arjuna the mystery of His 
own Person; for this He would have done long ago, and in 
much more detail, in Chapter IV. Actually, however, the 
present Section immediately follows the introductory 
Speech in ii. 11-37. There warrior has spoken to warrior, 
appealing to ancient words of wisdom and of martis.1 
honour; and now he wishes to utter what is stiU higher, 
nay, the very highest of aU. He speaks, therefore, no 
longer as warrior, but in virtue of the secret of His personal 
Godhead He reveals Himself in His superhuman dignity, 
and teaches Arjuna to recognize in Him the God “from 
Whom everything arises”, and to Whom “he who has 
insight” must submit himself in humble adoration; — 


1. Now hear further My supreme utterance; because 
thou art dear to Me, I will proclaim it to thee for thy good. 

Thus He first of all makes known to Arjuna the mystery 
of His own Person: 

2. Neither the hosts of devas nor the great rishis know 
My source. 

Neither gods nor sages know and understand the origin 
of Him Who is this very Krishna, and therewith His true 

For altogether more ancient than they am 1 . 

In other words: I am in truth the Eternal God Himself: 

3. He who knows Me as the unborn, the beginningless, 
the great Lord of the world : 

in his own terse ^nd characteristically pithy style, with not 
one superfluous nor missing word, the epic poet proclaims 
the highest secret of all: 

He among mortals, free from delusion, is released from 
all sins. 

Once again these words refer quite concretely to Arjuna's 
actual situation : he has been perplexed and troubled about 
sin. But both spiritual confusion and sin flee from him 
who knows the Ruler of all and submits to His service. 

4. From Me alone arise of beings the manifold states of 
mind: power of decision, judgment, knowledge, purity of 
spirit, capacity to endure, true insight, discipline, serenity, 
pleasure and pain, well-being and distress,^ fear and reliance, 

5. compassion, equanimity, contentment, self-control, doing 
good, glory and infamy. 

Arjuna had believed that the decision could and should 
be his own; he haS supposed that he must let himself be 
guided by what he presumed were his own emotions, by 
compassion, by due regard for what was becoming and 
unbecoming, honourable and dishonourable. He never 
1 So Ramanuja. 


realized that these are all simply the cords wherewith God 
Himself directs His creatures. 

6. Likewise the primeval beings, the seven great risMs 
and the four Manus, arose only from Me, generated by My 
Spirit ; and from them descend these creatures in the world. 

Arjuna has been troubled in spirit about the sages, the 
kings and the people arrayed before him, to be slain by 
him. But they too spring from God alone, and God only, 
not Arjuna, can decide their fate. 

7. He who knows in truth this manifestation of My Might 
and My creative Power — ^that is, he who recognizes in the 
play of inner motives, as in the existence of created things, 
the manifested Power of Him Who alone effects all — is 
armed with unshakable constancy. 

Avikampena yogena : — ^with just that concentrated and 
steadfast inner tension of will and self-control which Arjuna, 
in his vishada, lacked entirely. 

. And now there follows the brief summary of this superbly 
constructed Section: 

8. I AM THE Source of all, from Me everything 


Whoso has insight knows this. And with this insight he 
worships Me, impressed by awe. 

The prudent and pious man, submitting himself humbly 
to the Omnipotent One, is here held up to Arjuna, and 
contrasted with his own confusion and ahamkdm, so that 
he too may gain insight and humility. 

Thus after first of all, and by way of introduction, declaring 
the mystery of the “true Self” {Adhydtman) , and together 
with this of true Being and decay, Krishna has now (in the 
third place) proclaimed the secret of Ms own Person, and 
at the same time the “imperishable Majesty” [Mahdtmyam) 
of God manifested in Him as that of the One Who alone 
effects all things. Arjuna at once acknowledges all these 
three truths in xi. 1-3, and consequently his perplexity is 


already vanishing with its opening words; and m order 
therefore to destroy his ahamkdm completely, the Exalted 
One now adds to His ''supreme utterance’' the stupendous 
vision of IsvARA, thus finally substantiating the "utterance" 
and transforming it into the most intimate of all personal 

The Ongmal GUd 




In Chapter I, I have disengaged the ancient Epic from its 
later superstructures, of these, four pertain to the Second 
Part of The Song, and the remainder to its First Part; their 
principal characteristics appear in the following Schema: 
Treatise 1 : The GUd, xi. 52-xii. 20. This is a pure Prapath- 
BhaMi Treatise, unaffected by any Glosses, unspecu- 
lative and unsupported by philosophical theories, 
following in the main the trends of the later Ndrada- 
BhakU Sutras, but clearly demarcated as a separate and 
independent Treatise by the designation Dharmya- 
amntam idani^ in its concluding verse. 

Treatise II: xiv-xv. This too is definitely characterized 
and thrown into relief as a specific Treatise by the 
contents of xiv. i and xv. 20. It inculcates Sa-Sdnkhya- 
Bhakti: BhakU theology utilizing the Sdnkhya doctrine 
of the soul, and very clearly presented, although the 
Gloss, XV. 12-15, is quite foreign to its obviously 
recognizable main drift and interrupts, in a patently 
clumsy fashion, the otherwise neat arrangement of the 
well-constructed Treatise. 

Treatise III: xvi-xviii. 57. 

(A) , xvi. This is a plain and unsectarian moralistic 
Theism, with no specific Bhakti character. Unskilfully and 
mechanically combined with this, by xvii. i, is: — 

(B) . XVII. 2-xviii. 49. Moralistic Three gunas doctrine; 

1 of . p. 300. 


but xvii. 23-28 and xviii. 45, 46, are Glosses. The two 
interconnected Sections (A) and (B) are utilized in 

(C). XVIII. 50-55, by means of systematic and strict 
Bhakti doctrine, and in w. 56, 57, just barely adapted to the 
context of The Original GUd, which is resumed in v. 58. 
The briefer interpolations, x. 9-11 and xviii. 62-65, 67-71, 
are apparently from the same hand. 

Treatise IV : xiii. Sa-Hvara-Sdnkhya. It is evident that 
its uniformly clear structure is clumsily impaired by 
the Glosses 2:4; 12-18; 27, 28; 30. 

Treatise V : v. Sdnkhya and Yoga are connected together. 
The association which is plainly asserted by this dictum, 
and which is equally clearly elaborated, cannot be 
concealed by the obtrusive Glosses 6, 7; 10; 18-22; 

Treatise VI : vi-ix. 

{A). Typical Sa-hvara-Yoga, vi. 1-46, 

(B). utilized and intensified by Bhakti doctrine, vi. 47- 
IX. 34. VI. 27-32 is an Advaita-Bhakti Gloss; with the 
Gloss VII. 8-11, cf. Treatise VIII, and for the others. 
Chapter VI. 

Treatise VII: ii. 39-iv. 42. Untypical Sa-Uvara-Yoga — 
Character- Yoga as distinguished from psycho-technical 
Yoga. The Glosses, iii. 9-18; iv. 24-32, were inserted 
by a theologian concerned with sacrifice; they are 
foreign to the tenor of Character- Yoga, and plainly 
derange the easily recognizable main structure. 
Treatise VIII; x. 12-42. God as optimum in omnibus. 
A Song of Praise, marked by its own specific conception 
of the divine, and referring to neither Advaita nor 
Bhakti, nor aiiy other special scholastic doctrines, nor 
again to Arjuna’s actual situation, but inserted here 
simply to glorify Krishna. 

The purpose of the present Chapter, therefore, is to dis- 
criminate between the separate Treatises (I-IV) themselves. 


and also to elucidate and appreciate their individual charac- 
teristics; V-VIII are dealt with in Chapter VI. Undoub- 
tedly they conceal the original form of the primitive narrative ; 
nevertheless we may be thankful that it was utilized in this 
way to incorporate such interesting and important products 
of the contrasted spiritual tendencies in ancient India, so 
as to preserve them for posterity. 

Treatise I : The Gita, xi. 52~xii. 20. 

(j). This is evidently a self-complete Treatise, displaying 
very clearly the mature composition and individuality of a 
typical 'Treatise’', while as a manual of Bhakti theology it 
exhibits the specific tendency later described as Pmpatti- 
Bhakti, and also elucidates the original version of the 
Krishna- A rjuna-Samvaia} 

Having itself originated in Bhdgavata circles. The Original 
GUd must naturally have invited Bhdgavata theologians to 
add supplements and specifically doctrinal productions that 
involved, indeed, material from Bhakti theology. But all 
this, and very probably from quite an early period, remained 
internally heterogeneous, so that in investigating these con- 
tents of our own G%td I must repeat that it is imperative not 
to allow an over-hasty desire for homogeneity to induce us 
to ignore characteristic individual implications, tendencies 
and even discordances. 

(2). The Specific Tendencies in Bhakti Theology. The 
term Bhakti means devoutly loving attachment to one's 
own particular God; it is in itself, therefore, a powerful 
emotion which may assume ecstatic form as ^rema} It 
permeates the most diverse cults : — ^that of Vishnu-Vasudeva, 
of Siva-Rudra, of Durga and also — ^fifSt of all as simple 

^ Cf, p. II. 

2 ‘^A fevered, glowing Krishna-eroticism, coloured throughout by 
love passion; and intoxication enters into the experience/’ MysHcism 
East and West, p 161. 


Guru-Bhakti — of Buddha; and it manifests itself in different 
types and degrees : — 

(^). As faith, trust and love it implies a personal relation 
to a Personal God ; and thus its occasionally rigorous rejection 
of the impersonal Brahman and of Brahman-Advaita can 
be duly appreciated, even though it may itself lead on to 
these. On the other hand, it is clear that a certain type of 
non-dualistic Advaita ideas may be in complete accordance 
with it — a feature overlooked by Garbe.^ For (once again) 
whenever his emotions become excitedly ecstatic the devout 
lover forgets himself in his God; he experiences and feels 
unity with Him, so that it is just the highly wrought 
Advaita notions that can afford him occasional opportunities 
to express his own experience.^ It is in fact Prahlada, the 
typical representative of intense personal Bhakti, who above 
all experiences himself as united with, and indistinguishable 
from, Purushottama, the Supreme Person. Such great and 
outstanding Texts as the Vishnu and Bhdgavaia Pur anas, 
still further, exhibit thtstAdvaita states as their final culmina- 
tion, so that it is quite incorrect to regard all this as merely 
the outcome of the Brahman theologians’ falsification of the 
original purely personal Bhakti ideas in this way, in order 
to incorporate them to some extent into their own systems. 
Rather must we assume that it was precisely the original 
Vishnu-Bhakti that already contained the germ of all these 
developments within itself. They originated in the worship 
of the great god of the seasons,^ whose reawakening was 
celebrated in the woods with Dionysiac enthusiasm by song 
and jubilation, so that it is more than probable that this 
cult included, from the very beginning and as the result of 

^ cf. my Essay, ^ysttsche und gldubige Frommigkeit, in Sunde 
und Urschuld, pp 140 Jf. 

2 cf. my Mysticism East and West, p. 161. 

^ As I have attempted to prove in Zeitschrift fur Missionskunde 
und Rehgionswissenschaft, October 1934; further Chapter VII, 
pp . 258 ff. 


direct experience, those ideas of being seized upon and 
penetrated which imply being one with the numen. In the 
BhakU-ratna-dvalt, i6, for example: — ‘The vrishnis, when 
reclining or sitting all together, or wandering about with 
Krishna talking or playing, bathing or eating, lost themselves 
in thought about Krishna, and completely forgot their own 
separate existence’'. Here the Advaita state clearly origi- 
nates from Bhakti itself; while according to the Svetdsvafara 
Upanishad a similar assumption must be made regarding 
the Rudra cult, even though it sprang from a different root. 
If then these conditions prevailed, the result was a relation- 
ship towards Atman-Brahman ^ mysticism altogether the 
reverse of that assumed by Garbe, so that we must recognize 
many of the passages which he suspected and questioned 
as being perfectly genuine Bhakti Sections, and perceive in 
them no Brahmanic correction of Bhakti, but rather a 
utilization of the ancient mysticism for the Isvara of 
Bhakti] and for this type of Bhakti I shall employ the term 

{B), But on the other hand, Bhakti can develop with no 
mystical tendencies to unification of any kind whatever, 
and purely as a humble relationship of trust and love. 
Whereas the type of Bhakh considered in the preceding 
Section can develop in association with, and can utilize, 
Yoga practices sndjhdna, that is to say psychical technique 
and lofty, speculative knowledge of God, together with 
theology, still there subsists in this Bhakti a tendency to 
disregard both these aspects, to pursue the course of a lay 
religion, to renounce psychical practices, not to enquire 
about elevated jndna, and to value solely complete spiritual 
surrender to God and the steadfast experience of being 
“His”. This orientation we find in the Bhakti Sutras of 
Narada, which set the standard for the Bhakti ideal; and 
here is no trace whatever of Advaita, no pursuit of specu- 
dative knowledge of God, of theology nor of Yoga technique, 



but simply an intense emotional pietism: a development 
culmtnating in the appearance and the accentuation of 
Prapatti — of ‘'coming near” or “approach”. Originally, no 
doubt, Prapatti was merely homely Bhakti as such, consisting 
in simple trust; but subsequently it became specifically 
distinguished from this, which was then disparaged as 
compared with its new rival, so far as this stressed more 
powerfully the simple and austere purity of the relationship 
of surrender in a plain and humble attitude of trust, per- 
ceiving genuine piety in this rather than in the spiritual 
intensity of Bhakti discipline. At a still later stage, again, 
PrapatU came intellectually into direct contrast with the 
original Bhakti] as a tendency, nonetheless, it had for long 
been incorporated within the latter itself, while as an inner 
spiritual mood it responds most readily to the stern, yet 
sublime and exalted, Mighty One of Chapter XI of The 
Gita, Who must be worshipped not with melting feelings 
and ecstasies of souj, but with the consciousness of absolute 
dependence in pure surrender and humility. It is not to 
be wondered at, therefore, that in His Self-revelation, as 
depicted in this Chapter, one Section of the Proclamation, 
conforming to type (S), has been directly inserted, portraying 
and demanding at even this early stage, and with markedly 
systematic clarity in the later scholastic terms, this very 
type of Bhakti which tends towards Prapatti. For this is 
the theme of the brief, but beautiful, well-constructed and 
evidently self-contained Treatise I, which I shall now 
discuss in fuller detail. Its Subdivisions are as follows — 

Dharmydmritam: the Doctrinal Writ of Prapatti-Bhakii. 

Vv. 52-54: The Editorial connection with what precedes. 

(i) . The Theme:!?. 55. 

(ii) . Purvapaksha^: (Preliminary statement) : the Attitude 
towards Brahman doctrine: xii. 1-5. 

(hi). Siddhdnta: (The Canon): the Way of Bhakti, and 
its four advancing stages: 6-1 1. 


(iv) . Prapatti-Bhakti as the best Way: 12. 

(v) . The Ethics of the Bhakti-sddhu: 13-20. 

In His great Epiphany, in The Gitd, xi, the Supreme 
Exalted One accorded not a single word to the exposition 
of any general doctrine of salvation. For as I have previ- 
ously contended, He had appeared not to instruct Arjuna 
about everlasting bliss, but to prove Himself to be the One 
Who sways the fortunes of war, and so to summon Arjuna 
to his duty as a mere instrument. The sole necessary and 
direct consequence of this manifestation, therefore, was to 
demand from Arjuna, as mindful of this God and His Will 
{mat-cUta), the abandonment of his ahamkdm or self-conceit, 
as XVIII. 58 ff. plainly show. (The utmost that can be 
conceded is the possihhty of consolatory and gracious 
declarations, concerned with Arjuna's salvation, following 
these admonitions.) The present Treatise, however, has a 
wholly different intention: it is a brief and self-contained 
compendium of the way of salvation of Bhakti-mdrga, 
specifically of the type already described in (B), and finding 
its later and more definite development and consolidation 
in the Ndrada Sutras and in Prapatti doctrines.^ This 
Treatise obviously culminates in xii. 20: — '*Hewho sincerely 
follows this excellent law'' — ^that is the dharma of Prapatti- 
Bhakti — '"as it is here proclaimed, devoted to Me in faith, 
he is dearest of all to Me".^ 

Whoever expresses himself in these terms has reached his 
ultimate standpoint, beyond which there is really nothing 
further nor different that can be said. He has finished, 
like one who has completed his treatise and fulfilled his 
special dharma or duty. The introductory verses xi. 52-54, 
therefore, must be recognized as an eSitorial attempt to 
insert this Treatise in a fairly satisfactory way, and at the 

^ In order to distinguish it from Advatta-BhaMi I shall call this 
PrapaUt-BhakU; cf. The Gztd, xii. 12 and Note. 

* cf. further p. .^00. 


same time to justify the interpolation; and in order to 
effect the requisite connection they first of all simply repeat 
the contents of vv. 47, 48, in the original script, at the same 
moment, however, modifying their sense, which refers to 
the uniqueness of this most extraordinary experience with 
which Arjuna had been favoured for a quite peculiar and 
specific purpose. Twice over they say expressly that such 
a spectacle has never been exhibited to anyone except 
Arjuna; v. 54, on the other hand, is clearly concerned with 
sdkshatkara — ^with the visual imagination of the divine 
Form — ^which as a quite everyday occurrence is imparted 
in all Bhakti devotion, being a regular constituent of the 
or do salutis of Bhakti disciphne. In vv. 47-49 there was 
no reference whatever to “coming to Me” {v. 55) ; this was 
quite out of the question, since Arjuna is not to “come to 
the Lord”, but to fight and to fuM his duty as an instrument. 
But here the sense is skilfully changed into that of the 
ultimate goal of redemption. 

After this editorial and interpolatory comment (xi. 52-54), 
there follows the Treatise itself, well and systematically 

(i). We have first of all, in v. 55, the brief formula of the 
basal Creed and summary of Bhakti doctrine; this is the 
doctrine of salvation — of “coming to the Lord”; and as all 
Bhakti theology teaches, the “pathway” {marga) to this is: 
(j) to accomplish matkarman, which here means not (as 
Garbe translated it) “to act for my sake” but, in the 
technical Bhakti sense, “to carry out the regular activities 
of pujd (worship)”. (2) Matparama — ^the directing of the 
spirit to God. (3) Madbhakta — ^this orientation understood 
as loving faith. (^J Sangavarjita: Bhakti united with the 
ethos of all Indian doctrines of salvation and equally dis- 
tinctive of Bhakti tendencies — detachment, that is to say, 
from all interest in the things of the world; and at the same 
time nirvaira — “freedom from enmity towards any living 


being''. These terms, occurring at the outset somewhat in 
programme fashion, are afterwards discussed in greater detail; 
and it is in the light of this specifically detailed treatment, 
and not from more generalized viewpoints nor arbitrarily 
chosen associations, that they must be interpreted. 

(ii). The theme having thus been stated, there next 
follows (in XII. 1-5) a decision upon an antagonistic stand- 
point introduced, m accord with a popular method, by a 
question from the disciple. In view of the actual situation, 
however, Arjuna certainly had no motive whatever to ask 
how I^vara, in His self-manifestation, is related to the 
impersonal and transcendent Akshamm — ^the Eternal — or 
in other terms to the Brahman-Atman of the Advaita schools. 
But until the time of Ramanuja's BMshya, this latter is 
the polemical starting-point and the peg on which, as the 
preliminary statement (j>urvapaksha) , individual and posi- 
tive doctrines came to be suspended. Of course the adverse 
•teaching has not yet become, as it is fpr Ramanuja, diaboli- 
cal, it is still highly regarded as a religious attitude, as 
one way to the Highest; only it is both tortuous and toilsome, 
and its outcome is not that it leads to any actual goal 
distinct from Isvara Himself. For this path too ultimately 
shows the way 'To Me alone" {Mam eva) — eva must not 
be ignored here. ‘Tn Me alone" is the true goal: and "to 
Me" there is one direct and simple road — Bhakti-mdrga 

(ill). But this way too has its own difficulties; its ideal 
is that very bhakta saint who actually exhibits all the 
characteristics which were concisely depicted in v. 55. The 
genuine bhakta saint, then, is he in whom is found, unper- 
turbed and freely self-surrendering, tb !5 spiritual condition 
of complete concentration upon God, never interrupted nor 
artificially sustained by self-exertion. Such were the great 
saints Narada and Prahlada, and also the dlvdrs of the 
Bhakti community — ^those who, wholly absorbed in God, 



experience BhakU within, ‘'flowing uninterruptedly like a 
stream of oihh To these vv. 6-8 refer, admittedly in the 
definite sense of a saintly ideal that had already grown 
technical and typical; while here too the ideal of being 
submerged in Brahma- Advmta is to be outbidden by complete 
absorption in God* — 

XII. 6: He who, casting all (previous) actions^ upon Me, 
turns to Me and worships Me, while he meditates upon Me 
in unbroken composure, 7 such a one, whose mind is 
placed wholly in Me, shall I straightway^ raise on high from 
the ocean of death and Samsdra, 8 Set thy mind on Me 
alone, place thy feelings in Me; in Me, Myself, shalt thou 
dwell hereafter.^ 

1 Actions, including those that are good, bind to samsara; they 
must be cast upon God, and the original meaning of this can scarcely 
be that this is a ' 'sacrifice'' to God whereby He is honoured; appar- 
ently God is here regarded primarily as pavitram — as a means of 
expiating and destroying the constraining fatality which all action 
in itself possesses. 

2 Here na arat must not be overlooked. It is a litotes meaning 
"immediately, without further pause or delay"; in other words, 
with no intervening rebirth; and here this privilege of "non-return- 
ing" in rebirth (anagamin) is obviously reserved for the genuine 
saints of BhakH-marga. 

2 In his Sddhu Sunday Singh C. F Andrews tells us that this 
ideal of a Bhakti saint reposing wholly m God still lives in India 
to-day "Those who become thus wholly absorbed in God are called 
Bhahtas, and when that name has once been given to them, by 
popular consent, they are released from many of the ordinary duties 
of life, even while they remain in Hindu society. Very gradually 
and almost imperceptibly, each part of the daily round, which does 
not come within the scope of their religious devotion, is given up. 
In certain cases the hhakta finally abandons all social ties whatso- 
ever and becomes a Sannydsin, In other instances, some minor 
duties withm the home still continue, but the daily life even then 
becomes almost monastic in its solitary character — forming a cycle 
of mcessant prayer and worship" (p. 55). This is the meaning of 
the present passage too; and in this respect this Treatise, in its own 
individual character and as exhibitmg a special tendency, differs 
most definitely from others m which the Sannydsa ideal is combatted. 
According to v. 16, this ideal expressly involves that "aU under- 


A lofty ideal, vouchsafed only to the rare few and to the 

He in whom this permanent spiritual condition fails to 
arise, as a gift of grace to certain chosen saints, must 
practise — continues v. 9 — Ahhydsa-Yoga — ^he must pursue 
the toilsome path of technical discipline in absorption and 
concentration, so that he may thus fit himself gradually 
for the steadfast orientation and constant directing of the 
spirit to God. 

But for most people even this is too difficult. He who 
cannot achieve it, therefore, whoever is debarred by affairs 
and circumstances, should at least practise matkarmdni; 
and every Bhakfi manual shows us the wholly concrete 
sense of this term here and in this special connection. The 
ordinary layman (that is to say) is incapable of lofty Yoga 
exercises; what he can practise, nevertheless, is pujd (wor- 
ship) in the temple before the area (image) of the god: — 
.he can bring flowers, leaves and fruits as offerings, burn 
incense and swing lamps before him, make images and build 
temples for him or contribute to their construction, adorn 
these with gateways and flags, with bathing pools, trees 
and shrubs; he can give alms, observe the normal code of 
Ethics, read Holy Scripture and cause it to be read, thus 
following the Karma-marga which Bhakh too includes in 
its ordo salutis. 

For many, however, this also is toilsome and too difficult. 
Temple building requires money, exactly as very much 
pertains to the methodical pursuit of this way of Karma 
which the ordinary man cannot perform. And almost 
unavoidably are all such matkarmdni constrained by the 
thoughts of recompense for what ha^been actually done, 
takings” be abandoned, while v. 19 specifically inculcates homeless- 
ness — “without a home”. In this markedly individual Treatise, 
therefore, the perfect hhakta is regarded throughout as being a 
sannydstn also; but if The Gttd were truly a unitary work such 
demands as these would be quite impossible. 



There is, nonetheless, one ultimate and simple way which 
everyone without exception can travel: — ^renouncing all 
ptoonal striving and endeavour and resigning oneself 
completely and solely to God's saving and miraculous 
Power, at the same time abandoning aU thought of reward 
and submitting to self-discipline. This is the simple mean- 
ing of V. II, as is at once evident in the light of the principles 
of Bhakti practice: — “If thou art unable to do this" — that 
is to pursue the path of Karma-mdrga — “then take thy 
refuge in My saving wondrous Power {madyogam dsnioT), 
and practise hereafter in self-control the abandonment of 
the fruit of all action". 

This absolute dependence on Divine Power is nothing 
other than what was later called Prapatti — “approach" or 
“draw near"; one of the meanings of the term d^n itself 
being, in fact, “to approach, or draw near to someone". 
In accordance with the pedantic methods of Hindu systema- 
tizers, however, this perfectly simple spiritual act of sheer, 
self-abandonment to God subsequently became analysed 
into its five angas (aspects or subdivisions): — (j) the firm 
resolve to be in accord with the Lord, and to surrender 
oneself completely to His WiH: (2) the exclusion of all dis- 
agreement: (3) the conviction that “He will save me": 
[ 4 ) the wish: “May He be my shepherd": (5) humble 
resignation to Him.^ All this is undeniably much more 
detailed than the simple madyogam dsrita, which means, 
however, exactly the same. 

(iv). Thus far the mdrga has been described as an ordered 
series of four stages, “drawing-near" then being the attitude 
of the wholly simple-minded man of homely devotion, a 
last resource as it wSte for those incapable of attaining the 
higher levels. But in the following v, 12 this evaluation 

^ Madyoga is a current expression for God’s miraculous Power; 
cf. XI. 8, and other passages. 

2 cf. my Dlptkd des Nivdsa, p. 54. 


assumes a different aspect; the posture of sheer surrender 
— Bhakti — ^which culminates in the '"drawing near”, is now 
extolled as the test of all and styled dhydna (meditation). 
This however by no means implies the well-known phase 
of Yoga technique, since Yoga itself is here rejected alto- 
gether as of inferior value. Dhydna therefore represents at 
this period, exactly as it does in later Bhakti scripts, simple 
trusting piety as such; and in this sense of the term both 
updsand (reverent adoration) and dhydna (and even jhdna 
itself) subsequently become expressly identified with Bhakti- 
Prapatti. Thus v. 12, occasionally regarded as wholly 
incomprehensible, is most clearly elucidated: — "For better 
is knowledge than Yoga technique {abhydsa), but far more 
excellent than knowledge is the devout mind”. This is 
most clearly manifested whenever anyone, abandoning all 
other updyas (preparatory attitudes), surrenders himself 
solely to God's saving Power. 

. For as v. 11 has shown, "from the devout mind there 
springs the abandonment of the fruit of action, and close 
upon this abandonment” — of all desire to have something 
for oneself — "follows peace of soul”. 

This is pure and typical Bhakti-Prapatti doctrine, sub- 
ordinating the lofty knowledge of God, jMna, hitherto 
highly praised even in Bhakti circles themselves, to the 
homely piety of dhydna) a spiritual attitude that knows 
nothing of the mystical rapture of the experience of unity, 
since it finds its all in the belief that the Lord, the Shepherd, 
saves. This is simple and plain lay pietism, its mood as 
remote as is possible from allnon-dualistic Advaita mysticism. 

The numinous terror of the Mighty One, nevertheless, 
has long ago faded away, so that it is perfectly obvious that 
this sketch of a religion of the "devout in the land” can 
neither be original nor written, in the present context, by 
the same hand which, in the preceding Chapter, revealed 
the dread mystery of the "Destroyer of all men”. 



(v). In the concluding Section of his Treatise, finally, our 
interpolating author, here again adhering to the method of 
the Bhakti manuals, expresses m curt phrases the peculiar 
ethos which, as the attitude adopted towards the world, 
accompanies the spiritual orientation of this mood of self- 
renunciation to God, and which is at the same moment 
expressly the ethos of renunciation {Sannydsa). But here, 
likewise, there is not one word that has any direct reference 
to the content of Chapter XI. On the other hand, in the 
concluding verse the words, “this ambrosial dharma, thus 
expounded'', prove that the writer of this short but eloquent 
passage intended to give, in spite of its brevity, a compact 
and rounded-off summary of one specific '‘dharma”, the 
best rendering of the phrase dharmya-amntam idam being 
“this precious doctrine about faith'h 
Chapter XVIII. 50-57, is another instance of typical 
Bhakti theology which should be considered in connection 
with the self-contained Treatise XVI-XVIIL 49, to which 
it is somewhat artifidally attached, while the brief inter- 
polation, X. 9-1 1 , is also presumably from the same hand. 
This follows X. i~8, which I have already maintained to be 
part of The Onginal Gttd; and that it is an interpolation is 
obvious. For as I have previously argued, the author of 
The Original GUd had no inducement whatever to impart 
any soteriological doctrine to Arjuna or, in view of the 
actual situation, to exhort him to cultivate pious intercourse 
and engage in edifying discourse with other lhaktas. On 
the other hand, it is indubitable that these features, and 
indeed these very terms, pertain to the ordo salutis of a 
developed Bhakti doctrine of salvation; and this is the real 
reason for their repetition in the present context where, infact, 
the bhaktas' ideal in its typical form is described exactly: — 
of men who, having withdrawn from worldly affairs, 
spend their lives in the pious conventicles of the later 
vaishnavas, studying together the sacred Word of the Lord, 


singing holy songs, reading, expounding and preaching the 
hallowed narratives that had been composed in the interval 
and ' 'enlightening one another"'. In them Bhakti fervently 
glows and the Lord, dwelling in their own souls, imparts to 
them by His unmerited grace [ahetuka prasdda) the light of 
the redeeming jMna. But not by a single word does 
Arjuna indicate, in Chapter XL 1-3, that any such sublime 
instruction has been given him; if, however, The Original 
Gltd had actually included any teaching at all about the 
way oj salvation, this would have been the most important 
of all Krishna's doctrines that Arjuna would ever have 
heard; under no conditions, therefore, could it have failed 
to appear in his own summary of what he had been taught 
in XI. 1-3. The interpolation of x. 9-11, in fact, was 
suggested by the conclusion of the preceding v. 8: — 
"Whoso has insight knows this" — that is, "from Me every- 
thing arises". "And he worships Me, impressed by awe." 
This could certainly provide the starting-point for a general 
* discussion of Bhakh; in itself, however, v. 8 is directed 
against Arjuna's folly, which is contrasted with the bhdva 
of one endowed with insight; and here bhdva means the 
humble and devout emotion^ which is aroused by the 
consciousness of Omnipotence. 

The same hand also composed vv, xviii. 62-65, 67-71, 
necessary as these were to bring the close of The Original 
Gltd to a typically Bhakti culmination; they include the 
usual and conventional "fruit of hearkening" {sravana- 
phala), but they have nothing whatever to do with Krishna's 
specific task of converting into obedience the mood of one 
who has no desire to fight. Nor is there any reference to 
them in Arjuna's own response in v, 73;, there is no conscious- 
ness that he has been chosen for the highest bliss, nor that 
the supreme favour of salvation has been vouchsafed to 
him, but simply that his perplexity as to his duty has been 
1 In Apte's Dictionary bhdva is translated by “devotion"’. 



removed, and that he will now fulfil the command to fight. 
But if he had been initiated into mysteries such as those of 
V. 68, how vastly different must his words inevitably have 

Treatise II: The Gita, xiv-xv: The Development of 
Qualified Monism, [visishtddvaitam), with Sdnkhya 
Doctrine as the subordinate stage. 

( j) . The previous Treatise was characterized by its wholly 
unspeculative attitude, which culminates in completely 
subordinating the exalted Yoga^ together with the elevated 
metaphysics of the Universe and of God, to the plain and 
homely piety of humble trust which renounces both prac- 
tice and the lofty flights of thought alike. This, however, 
is not the standpoint of hhaktas in general, since they too 
have devoted themselves to various forms of speculation 
and elaborated theologico-metaphysical systems. They 
have in this way, therefore, and like theologians ever 3 rwhere, 
come to an understanding with the speculative thought of 
their own day, have appropriated its methods, its presumed 
or actual results, and attempted (with the necessary altera- 
tions and suppressions) to give it a place within their own 
religious creed; and thus, at a very early stage, they sought 
to make even the ‘‘most scientific” of all Indian systems, 
the Sdnkhya, useful and serviceable in their own way, just 
as did the strict non-dualists {advaitins). Certainly they 
were hhaktas, for to them also not jhdna is the highest, but 
Bhakti; nevertheless they were profoundly influenced by 
the ancient estimate of jhdna — of elevated metaphysical 
knowledge about the Universe, men and God — ^which they 
regarded as being it^lf one condition of Bhakti, Of this 
general standpoint The GUd, xiv-xv, is a compendium; 
and it is obviously very different from the former attitude. 
I shall therefore call this association of the two viewpoints 
Sa-Sdnkhya-Bhakti, in contradistinction to the Bhakti 

The Ongvnal Gita M 


which has been found to culminate in plain Prapaiti. The 
contrast between them, then, is that for the one all lofty 
jnana is definitely a matter of indifference, since to it the 
dictum applies that 'Tove of the Lord is better than much 
knowledge'', while the other maintains that man must 
undeniably know a great deal: he must know about the 
concatenation of the entangling gunas, their difference from 
the spirit which subsists at a level higher than their own, 
the relations between Spirit and Matter, and between both 
of these and God. For it, still further, such knowledge is in 
itself power, though not the ultimate redeeming Power For 
in the end it is Bhakti that saves, in so far as release from 
the guna fetters is effected by means of BhakU, while it is 
only in this that all jMna finally finds its own completion 

Thus the great Bhakti theologian Ramanuja maintained 
that jhana, as an intellectual activity, cannot free from the 
bonds of desire; only Bhakti, in the guise of feeling, can do 
that; nor again cdxi jhdna, as mere knowledge, bring about 
union with God; tliis too can be attained only through 
Bhakti, as love. In exactly the same sense the Sdndilya 
Sutra, I, 2,1 ff., explains that jnana and Yoga also are merely 
the means to Bhakti, which is itself the real preparation 
{updya). ‘Tor everyday life and experience teach us that 
knowledge about beauty is doubtless the accompaniment 
of a maiden's affection for a youth, but not conversely." 
(And Yoga, as updya, is subordinated to jndna ) Similarly 
I. I, 2 : — “Mere knowledge may be possessed by one who 
nevertheless feels antipathy to the Lord". So, too, in the 
present Treatise: Knowledge is certainly praised, but 
Bhakti possesses ultimate value : xv. 19. 

(2). It is, at the same time, readiljfe understandable that 
Bhakti religion should become associated with Sdnkhya, 
intrinsically alien though this is in its very nature. For to 
all profound faith in God, if it is at the same moment belief 
in redemption, there necessarily pertains a belief in the 



soul, while the idea of redemption is specifically connected 
with the contrast between whatever becomes a fetter on the 
one hand, and on the other the Being Who releases from this 
bondage: — an antithesis which the had elaborated 

more acutely than the old Vedanta. 

(5). It is at once evident, still further, that the Treatise 
under consideration is an independent production, and not 
simply a continuation by the author who had just written 
Chapter XIII. For this Chapter is in itself a well-rounded 
whole) and whoever composed it did not proceed, in 
Chapters XIV-XV, to discuss the same topics as though 
he had said nothing at all about them already. Conversely, 
the writer of Chapters XIV-XV was not himself the author 
of Chapter XIII, since this would have involved his antici- 
pating himself in the most purposeless manner possible. 
What actually happened, then, is easily understood: — the 
concise treatment of the subject in Chapter XIII failed to 
satisfy some later author, who consequently inserted his 
own ideas in such a way as to complete and enhance the 
work, and at the same time in what seemed to him a better 
order and more in conformity with his own aims and 

(^). Finding Chapter XIII, then, already widely accepted, 
the redactor annexed to it his own well-constructed and 
rounded-off Treatise, beginning Chapter XIV with the 
stereotyped assurance that, by way of contrast with all 
that precedes, he will reveal the '‘highest’' knowledge which 
alone will lead to "highest” perfection; and his concluding 
words in xv. 20 correspond most precisely to this editorial 
Introduction: — "Thus have I declared to thee this highest 
secret doctrine” — alyeady proclaimed in xiv. i as "the 
highest knowledge”. — "Whoso understands this has done 
what alone has to be done.” All that intervenes between 
his Preface and his final words is intended to form an 
independent Treatise; and this it actually is. Excellently 


constructed, the Treatise consists of five subdivisions, with 
a short Introduction . — 

The Introduction: xiY. i, 2: the exalted goal is Bhakti, 
as the concluding verse xv. 19 maintains in summing up 
the discussion; but Bhakti itself presupposes knowledge: 
one must be ''sustmned by knowledge'' (xiv. 2), which, 
again, must be communicated to others. He who supports 
himself in this way attains salvation.^ 

Section (J). — ^What then is this knowledge? Evil owing 
to the bondage of the gunas: 3-18. First of all human evil 
must be known to consist in worldly bondage in samsdra; 
this arises because the seed of life, or the spirit, which is 
cast into Matter by God, immediately becomes fettered in 
this world owing to the gunas, or constituents of Matter, 
which are regarded as ‘"snares"^; and the Chapter proceeds 
to describe their interconnections and reciprocal influence, 
together with their separate characteristics. According to 
The preponderance of one or another of these gunas, man 
either nses or falls on the ladder of the soul's pilgrimage; 
but he is never released from it. 

^ Salvation consists in sadharmyam with God, to employ a popular 
term of developed Bhakti theology. Whoever is redeemed, that is 
to say, does not become God, but is ** deified” in so far as he acquires 
“equivalent existential predicates” with God. In other words, he 
attains hhdva, the mode of Being of God (“excluding rule over the 
Universe”); and all this defimtely does not mean Identity with 
God, cf. pp. 127, 221. 

2 Here Matter is called '"Brahman"* . On the one hand Brahman 
was the causa activa which bungs the Universe, with its Form, into 
existence, and on the other the causa matenahs of the World, or 
that upon which the Form of the Universe is bestowed. In the 
present context, God has assumed the first of these two roles, so 
that Brahman now remains only as causa mafenalis, and thereupon be- 
comes a synonym for Prakriti: so also m Bhdgavata Purdna iii, 26, 
II, and occasionally too in Sdnkhya Treatises. In Bhakti theology 
the Universe that has been produced is sometimes called thePrapanca- 
Brahman [Brahman as Multiplicity), as in handily a Samhitd, v, 2, 5. 
"My Brahman**, it runs, because here too both World and World- 
material are regarded as originating from the Being of God Himself. 


Section {II). — How, in the next place, does man obtain 
freedom from the evil of samsdral xiv. 19-27. 

An answer to this is first of all given, but very incautiously, 
in accordance with the style of the Sdnkhya doctrine that 
had been incorporated: “By recognizing his own self as 
distinct from the gunas, and from Matter’'.^ This response, 
however, is at once improved upon: for just as though no 
reply whatever had yet been offered to the question as to 
how release is gained, the fundamental problem of salvation 
is formulated in v. 21 : — 

How does he surmount these three gunasl 

and with this the further enquiry is straightway associated : — 
What is the nature of him who is freed from the gunasl 
or in technical terms : What are the essential characteristics 
of the jwanmuktal — of him who achieves perfection in the 
present life? 

XIV. 22-25 constitutes the reply to the latter, although 
it is certainly very meagre and strictly confined to pure^ 
Sdnkhya ideas; but this response too is at once outbidden. 
For redemption in itself, both that to be experienced in 
this life and its eternal phase described in v. 2, is depicted 
in terms of obvious Bhakti doctrine. Not jndna, not 
Sdnkhya knowledge about the difference between Purusha 
and Praknti has redeeming power, despite the incautious 
terms of vv. 19-20, but “he truly surmounts these gunas 
who serves Me in BhakU discipline and without erring, 
and is thus fit for the Brahma mode of Being'* (xiv. 26). 

1 This is clumsy dallying with the foreign material that had been 
incorporated, but which had its own native character and with 
which the author was not yet quite famihar. Formally this Treatise 
agrees with Treatise VI, which has still to be dealt with. Just as, 
in the latter, the technical Yoga is inserted into Bhakti theology as 
a kind of preliminary stage, so in the present instance is one type 
of Sdnkhya; and in both ahke the added material is somewhat 

i 82 the doctrinal TREATISES OR THE SECOND PART 

This last is possible, because (27): — ‘'Upon Me reposes 
Brahman, and likewise the changeless immortality, the 
eternal law” — in accordance with which salvation is 
imparted — “and absolute happiness”. 

Garbe placed the last two verses in brackets ; but, in my 
opinion, quite unjustifiably; and his view is refuted by 
V, 21, which he himself accepted. For if vv, 26, 27 are 
omitted, the really outstanding question of v. 21, “How does 
he surmount these three gunasV\ undeniably remains 
unanswered. But Garbe was misled by his suspicion that 
Advaita interpolations occurred wherever the terms Brahman 
and Brahman-Bhdva appear. Verse 2 represents salvation 
as being equality with God, whereas the expressions em- 
ployed in V. 26 are feebler than this equivalence to God 
rather than stronger. How convenient the prolonged use 
of the term Brahman proved itself to be is shown by the 
fact that, in what precedes, Prakriti itself could be called 
the “great Brahman'' of God {y. 5). Certainly both Brahma- 
Bhdva and Brahma-Nirvana meant, for the present author, 
no more and no other than something equivalent to the 
familiar “eternal bliss”.^ And quite obviously Brahman 
and Brahma-Bhdva are here regarded as being dependent 
on God, and therefore as subordinated to Him; Brahma- 
Bhdva is simply the “wondrous state” which man attains 
when he enters upon eternal freedom from death and 
equality with God. 

Section {III). — ^The Tree of Evil and its Felling: xv. 1-6. 
An ancient hymn about the Tree of Evil, which must be 
hewn down, and about the “supreme abode” of salvation, 

^ In the Moksha-dharma, Brahma-Bhdva ^ often enough simply an 
expression for the state of mward concentration and peace of soul 
in general; and Roy rightly translates this term not, as Garbe did, 
by “become a brahman” but by “state of Brahman* \ or condition 
of Brahman, bvdhml sthiHs, a Brahmic state marvellous and superior 
to the world and to samsdra in general, without any more precise 


is cited here and briefly explained, in order to substantiate 
what has been said already. 

The trunk of this tree is like a cluster of thick strands (Hill) 
and is therefore an impressive image for the entanglement 
of the gunas — '"strands'" — the mazes of which constitute the 
material world and "the things" therein. The tree is the 
tree of worldly existence. It originates from the Deity, and 
hence its roots are "above", while since it extends into the 
world, its trunk and branches go "downwards". 

According to ancient belief, the existence of the world is 
sustained by the magic of the Vedic sacrificial cult, operating 
through the "songs" of the Veda] these, therefore, are its 
"leaves" which, as the organs of respiration, keep the trunk 
and its branches alive. But it is not he who knows these 
songs and can apply them to the continued maintenance of 
the tree, but he who recognizes its character as the tree of ev%l 
and hews %t down, that is the true "knower of the Veda'\ in 
the sense that he alone possesses the sacred knowledge which 
IS actually involved; cf. The Sanatsujdtaparvan, 42, 51^: — 
"For the sacred songs originate from clinging to one's 
own desires", and The AnugUd, 19, 8^: . . the perishable 

world, comparable to the fig tree, evermore bound to birth, 
old age and death". Similarly The Anugltd, vv, 9546^., 
includes the same ancient hymn of the Tree of Evil and its 
antithesis, "the Eternal Abode" : — 

(j). The Tree of Evil: 

"There is a great (tree), sprung from an invisible root: 
it has buddhi as its trunk, the great ahamkdra for branches, 
the senses as its shoots and cavities, the great elements as 
its separate parts and the elemental qualities as its boughs; 
it continually bears •leaves and blossoms and incessantly 
produces evil fruits. It is eternal, giving life to the beings 
that have sprung from Brahman as the root. He who has 
recognized it (in its evil nature) and has hewn off its tattvas 

1 Peussen, p. 17. 2 p. 898. 


with the most excellent sword of knowledge, attains to 
freedom from death and casts from him death and rebirth 
(2). The Eternal Abode: 

''But now I shall declare to thee the Highest Abode, 
which is the origin of all that is present, past and future, 
which is the abiding goal (beyond desert, pleasure and gain), 
well known to the hosts of siddhas, everlasting from the 
earliest days/’ 

Here too this Section is a fragment, and the promised 
description of the Eternal Abode abruptly curtailed. Never- 
theless it differs from the version in The Gild in containing 
no reference to guna doctrine. 

Section {IV) — ^The Metaphysics of the Doctrine of Evil and 
Salvation: xv. 7-18 (omitting 12-15); the metaphysical 
theory of the Whole is advanced m the form of a developing 
Visishtadvaita, or philosophic system of qualified Monism, 
as it became more definitely expressed by Yamunamuni in 
his Siddhitraya, and still further elaborated by Ramanuja. 
Originally, as we know already, the total Universe of Being 
streamed forth from God Himself; and in the latter system 
the soul is an actual amsa, a broken-off portion of God 
Himself, which becomes a real or substantial and individual 
soul in the world and falls into bondage because it enters 
the '‘service” of the objects of sense. Thus the Universe, 
as existing over against God, consists of the two essences 
which are subsequently distinguished as the dtman and the 
jada (inanimate), being in xv. x6 contrasted with each 
other as the immutable (the dtman) and the mutable (the 
material). High above them stands the Supreme, in 
serene transcendence over the Universe, yet at the same 
time immanently permeating it, 

XV. 12-15: Here again we observe the prophylactic 
method of the Glossographer; for in vv, i6~i8 the sharpest 
conceivable contrast between Nature, Spirit and God is to 
be drawn. In order to impart to the reader then, and in 



advance, the intended immunizing association, the author 
of this Gloss skilfully presents a selection of quotations 
which arouse a mood for which the contrasts between 
identity, transcendence and immanence become nebulous. 

Section (k). — Concluding Summary: xv. 19, 20, then 
draws the conclusion. He who is lost in samsdm should 
be concerned with the knowledge of these facts, hidden 
from the deluded eye, and especially with the knowledge of 
this Highest Being as the goal. He who has this '‘possesses 
complete knowledge”, that is to say, he knows all that is 
necessary for redemption. By such knowledge he must 
be “sustained”, as in xiv. 2. The purpose of this knowledge, 
however, is nothing but Bhaktt. 

Finally, xv. 20 (to repeat) clearly refers to the opening 
verse of the Treatise in xiv. i, and provides its conclusion 
as a separate and independent whole. 

Quite correctly, Garbe excluded vv. I2-I5, which per- 
fectly obviously interrupt the well-arranged context by 
forcing v. 16 out of its close and necessary connection with 
the passage 7-11. What the author of this Treatise intends 
first of all to describe is the Universe as existing over against 
God, and consisting of dtman and Matter; and it is only 
after his doctrine about the Universe that he discusses the 
doctrine of God, so that his theology follows his cosmology. 
The composer of the Gloss in question, on the other hand, 
suddenly and without any motive interpolates a theological 
passage in the middle of the cosmology. But what purpose 
this digression about God is intended to serve it is impossible 
to understand, still less what the explanations of juicy 
soma and digestive fire mean. His design, nevertheless, is 
obvious : he intends'h-s far as possible to obviate and weaken 
the sharp dualism which vv, 16 and 17 postulate between 
the Universe and God, Who is here conceived as rigorously 
transcending the Universe, and to induce the reader to 
interpret the “immutable” of v. 16 on the analogy of the 


ideas of immanence in vv. 12--15. The author of the 
Treatise himself speaks quite consistently of God only 
from V, 17 onwards, and the style of vv. 12-15 is not at all 
in harmony with that of his own theology. But even if 
anyone felt inclined to assume that our author, as a 
visishtddvaitin maintaining a qualified Monism, might after 
all have utilized ancient immanence maxims, surely he 
cannot be considered capable of so confusing his own clear 
construction as to insert these verses so aimlessly between 
the closely connected vv. ii and 16, where they are com- 
pletely out of place, instead of attaching them to v. 17, 
where he himself speaks of 'Tsvara, who enters therein''! 
There cannot, then, be the slightest doubt that here we find 
a glossographer whose personal characteristics are as 
strongly marked as is his ineptitude. This Gloss itself, 
nevertheless, remains important for us because it enables 
us to perceive extraordinarily clearly the specific signature 
of the Vedic Gloss composer, so that it can be readily 
recognized in other passages also. 

Treatise III: The Gita, xvi-xviii. 49. 

This Treatise consists of two Sections (^ 4 ) and {B) which, 
while interconnected in their content, are nonetheless 
independent, although they are combined together in an 
obviously clumsy fashion by xvii. i. 

{A). Chapter XVL Plain, unsectarian, religious, moral- 
izing, characterized by the pronounced dualism of the devic 
and asurio natures. 

This, though devoid of any special instructional or 
sectarian character, is a straightforward Wisdom Treatise 
containing theistic and ethical doctriTie, similar to that 
found in The Moksha-dharma^ Observance of ‘The Law", 
as this presented itself to the cultured Hindu of those days 
in its general principles and apart from any special techni- 
^ of. tlie polemic against the Nastikas (Nihilists) vv. isff. 


calities, is to be strenuously inculcated, although at the 
same time, of course, as being the way of release {v, 5). The 
usual virtues of a devout Hindu are associated together as 
a ''godly'' state of life {a: 1-5) ; and opposed to all this is 
the catalogue of vices, including doubt of God and the 
divine world government, together with the naturalistic 
interpretation of the Universe {Ndstika — ^nihilistic — Hedon- 
ism) {h: 6-19). The prospects of punishment for such 
"demonic" conduct, and of reward for "godly" living, are 
discussed in vv. 20-23. From v, 18, again, it would appear 
that the spiritual self is regarded as being in some way 
identical with God, although no consequences bearing on 
the doctrine of salvation are inferred from this. The final 
verse: "let holy writ be established as thy standard", 
provides the obvious conclusion, and at the same moment 
the essential feature, of the whole position. 

Characteristic of this brief but beautiful Wisdom Treatise 
is the sharply dualistic contrast, which seems to be almost 
Parsiistic, between the devic and the asuric nature, noticeably 
different as this is from the trialism of the next Treatise 
(B) with its wholly divergent orientation. Its own trend 
exhibits no acquaintance with the guna doctrine of its 
successor, nor with Sdnkhya and Yoga (either technical or 
Character- Yoga), nor again with Bhakti, redemption through 
Bhakti, nor mystical union. It inculcates fulfilment of the 
usual dharma, and a generalized pious type of demeanour 
which is nowhere more closely defined; this leads to the goal 
and the happiness of the next world (v. 24), but without 
it being specifically declared what this is or wherein it con- 
sists. In this respect too this short Text resembles Vyasa's 
sermon to Suka. ^ 

(B). Chapters XVII-XVIII. 49 (omitting xvii. 23-28; 
XVIII. 13-17, 45, 46). The threefold association of the 
ancient moral doctrine of the three gunas with the ideal of 
the condition attained in sattva. 


As definitely as is possible, this Treatise expresses both its 
essential principle and its conclusion in xviii. 49: — ''By 
Sannydsa, (that is to say) when one’s mind is free from 
attachment as regards all things, when he is self-restrained 
and has been released from desire, he attains the highest 
goal, that is, freedom from Karman”. 

Here, therefore, the goal is not really Brahman mysticism 
in its proper form, not entering into the Lord, nor Yoga- 
self -experience, but the wholly prosaic freedom from 
Karman and its fettering, fateful power of Destiny and, 
together with this, release from samsdra and return. The 
Section recognizes and suggests nothing more, while like 
the preceding Treatise it prescribes a simple religious doctrine 
about virtue. But in place of the dualism of the earlier 
passages, it maintains the essentially distinct and differently 
oriented trialism of guna doctrine, elaborating this in an 
extremely systematic way; and at the same time its three- 
fold system of virtue, defect and vice is developed in accor- 
dance with the outstanding problem and controversies which 
probably agitated its own day: — ^What actually is correct 
belief and proper diet? sacrifice, asceticism, almsgiving, 
etc,, together with the question which evidently stirred 
men’s minds most profoundly* — ^What is true Sannydsa 
and Tydgal At this stage the newer tendency enters the 
fray; in the homely moral attitude it perceives something 
superior to the ancient penitential ideal, while at the same 
moment it recognizes that precisely in this ethical standpoint 
there is involved a veritable surrender and renunciation of 
a higher order, that very Sannydsa, in fact, which the con- 
cluding verse extols as the ideal and the path to ultimate 
redemption. It proceeds therefore, lo^cally and systemati- 
cally, to discuss the questions and disputed issues of knowledge, 
of action and the doer of actions, the power of judgment and 
the force of decision, endurance and true happiness, and 
the co-ordinated spheres of activity in caste work, until 


in the concluding verse (xviii. 49) it lucidly sums up its 
completed doctrine in its spiritualized Sannydsa ideal. 

Taken in its entirety, this Treatise also is thoroughly 
unsectarian and free from scholasticism, even though the 
author may have made use of the specific Sdnkhya doctrine 
in XVIII. 13-17; these verses, however, obviously distort 
the context. For the tendency of the whole discourse is 
definitely not towards these explicit Sdnkhya principles — 
to attain for oneself the knowledge that the Purusha is not, 
properly speaking, the doer and that the play of the gunas 
does not affect it; much more, in xviii. 26-28, is the agent 
regarded as himself the subject, while all the emphasis of 
the exhortation falls on the truth that sattva itself is the 
actual ideal, and not any specific knowledge about the 
Purusha. No genuine sdnkhya could summarize his prin- 
ciples as has been done in xviii. 49; this author, however, 
knows the guna doctrine and develops it quite logically. 
Nonetheless do I think that it is seriously incorrect to place 
this system without more ado on the same level as the 
Sdnkhya; on the contrary, the ancient guna principles 
seem to me to have become, within the Sdnkhya system, 
diverted from their own original tendency. For if sattvam 
is opposed to rajas and tamas — ^to gloom and darkness — 
then surely something was originally intended that was not, 
like rajas and tamas, included in what must be overcome, 
but much rather the ideal itself, the true, ultimate and 
specific Being, both actually and normatively, in accor- 
dance with the ideal, not some ''binding” factor of "Nature”. 
Some such original conception of sattva as being in itself 
the actual ideal, as releasing from samsdra and not forging 
new bonds to it, stiH? remains clearly visible in Section 224 
of The Sdntiparvan: "The sinless one attains the attributes 
of sattvam But to those who depart from sattvam are 
allotted successive rebirths”. Similarly 157^: — "I take my 
^ Roy’s Translation, pp. 13, 14 


refuge in the sattva-guna. — Now have I entered into Brahman. 

I have entered the eternal city of Brahman''. 

^ Here, then, sattvam is not something which, like rajas and 
tamas, can be stripped off, but the ideal ultimate condition, 
as such; and The AnugUd {v. 1343) proves that such an 
ancient doctrine had actually existed, for which sattvam, 
as '"the highest"', was contrasted with rajas and tamas.^ 
From the Sdnkhya standpoint, therefore, this exaltation of 
sattvam must have appeared as its identification with the 
'‘knower of the field" {Kshetrajha), exactly as this verse 
maintains: — '"Some learned men, who are well versed in 
knowledge, maintain the unity of the Kshetrajha and 
sattvam”. And although this doctrine is rejected, still its 
previous existence is attested, and this in terms of respec^/ 
for its representatives. In v. 1339, in fact, we are illogically 
and even quite naively assured that — “there is nothing that 
is higher than sattvam, and those who know it on Earth 
praise it as being the highest".^ 

' The Glia, xviii, vv. 13-17, obviously interrupt the 
pervading strict rhythm of the present Treatise, which 
knows nothing whatever of any distinction between the 
knower of the field {Kshetrajha) and the sattva-guna; and 
this implies, still further, that it is completely unaware of 
the specific Sdnkhya doctrine. The intrusion, then, is due 
to the “stimulus" of v. 18, in which, however, the 

^ This of course does not exclude the fact that the name Sankhya 
is very old, while the ancient teachers of the tYir^Q-guna doctrine 
were themselves called sankhyas On the other hand, any reference 
to specific Sankhya principles must imply solely the definite tenet 
of the difference between the “knower of the field’*, and “the field” 
itself (Kshetrajna and Kshetra), together with the attainment of 
“salvation” not so much by any moral ccSliduct as substantiating 
sattva, but rather by the mtellectual activity of differentiating 
{viveka) between Kshetrajna and Kshetra. 

2 Deussen’s Translation, p. 683; cf. The Gita, ii. 456, '"mtya- 
sattva-$thas’\ Here a mtya-sattvam is opposed to the guna sattvam 
in 45a. 


“knower'' is himself quite naively recognized as the cause 
of action. Prophylactically, once again, this Sdnkhya 
Gloss attempts to neutralize this belief by employing the 
previous preventive device. 

; These verses appear to me, therefore, as an insertion by 
some Sdnkhya interpolator who found, in v, 18, knowledge 
together with the object of knowledge and the knower as 
the conditions of "'action'' ; so in order to effect an opportune 
immunization, in accordance with his own doctrine, of these 
terms, though they are not employed at all in the Sdnkhya 
sense in the present context, he interpolates in advance (in 
vv, 13-17) a learned citation from some Sdnkhya Treatise, 
But by this device he destroys the obvious meaning of the 
actual writer of the Treatise, since he perceived the conditions 
of action certainly not in the five factors to which the 
interpolator himself appeals, but precisely in knowledge 
itself, together with the object known and the knower, as 
the natural and universal presuppositions of every act. 
The ''one'' essence in v, 20, again, is in no way whatever* 
recognizable as being the Praknh of the sdnkhyas (as Garbe 
suggested) but is an avowal of that Naturalistic Monism 
which is the universal background of non-sectarian Hindu 

The present Treatise, still further, is closely related to the 
internally homogeneous Section of The Anugitd, Chapters 
26-28, which also expounds an ancient thiee-guna doctrine, 
although Sdnkhya principles as such do not characterize 
these passages either. Not in the speculative distinction 
between the Purusha and Praknti, to which not a single refer- 
ence is made, but (exactly as in The GUd Treatise now under 
discussion) here too Ahe way to the highest goal is found 
and pursued in moral behaviour through the sattva-guna. 
Only in the closing verse (1057) genuine 

Sdnkhya ideas be discerned, and even there it remains very 
indefinite. But the actual trend of thought in the Section 


itself is completely free from all this, and may indeed 
originate in the very circles of those guna teachers who (in 
V. 1343) are extolled and recognized as 'Veil versed in 
knowledge’', though they were obviously not sdnkhyas ^ 

The introductory verse of the present Treatise (iS)(xvn i) 
is the typical patchwork of an Editor who felt himself 
impelled to connect (B) to (^4). He attempts to stitch 
together, to some extent, what is said about Faith at the 
commencement of Treatise (B) with the concluding words 
of the preceding Treatise about the Law, by the method of 
appealing to Arjuna’s ostensible enquiry as to how a man 
is to be judged who certainly has Faith, but does not observe 
the Law: — a question with which not one single word of 
what follows is concerned. Arjuna asks at the same time 
about the incorporation of this form of behaviour within the 
ihxee-guna schema to which, however, there is no reference 
of any kind in what precedes, while the succeeding three-g^^a 
schema takes no account at all of the problem of "faith 
without works", but regards Faith frdm a wholly different 
point of view; Arjuna's question, therefore, is left hanging 
altogether in the air. 

^ Deussen translates v. 1000 — aknU kvitarndnitvam, ajnane jnana- 
mamtd — as * 'imagining that one does something, when one does 
nothmg'', a rendering m which the verse may well resemble the 
Sdnkhya doctrine of the false attribution of action to the Kshetva- 
jna The line actually means, however : — "those who believe that 
they accomplished something, whereas they have accomplished 
nothing, and that they possessed knowledge whereas they have 
none'’. Since the demand is that one ovight to have genuine know- 
ledge, so quite naturally it is required that one ought to have actually 
done something right and fitting, and not be satisfied with the mere 
conceit of having accomplished something. In other words action — 
that IS to say sattva action — ^is here categorically demanded, while 
whoever merely imagines that he has performed it, when actually 
he has done nothing whatever, is blamed. As is subsequently the 
case with unfriendliness, unbelief and stupidity {amaitn, airaddhd 
and mudha-bhavand), similarly the lack of (genume) activity is 
censured here. 


Garbe was therefore perfectly justified in excluding 
XVII. 23-28 as a Gloss; they originate from an entirely 
different sphere, and interrupt the well-knit course of the 
Treatise in the most irritating fashion. Garbe's rejection 
of XVIII. 45, 46 seems to me to be equally correct, since the 
meaning of v. 47 is most closely connected with that of 
V. 44. The doctrine of caste actions, rigidly demarcated in 
accord with the three gunas, was bound to find its conclusion 
in the Svadharma doctrine of one’s specific duty, for the sake 
of which the former was presumably constructed; and this 
interpolation clumsily anticipates the attainment of Siddhi, 
which the Treatise itself, quite rightly, was not intended to 
present expressly as the final and complete outcome until 
V. 49. The inserted words are undeniably beautiful; but 
if the present author, whose own construction is throughout 
carefully elaborated, had himself adopted their viewpoint, 
he would certainly have introduced it in v, 49. Nowhere, 
however, does his thought wander in this manner; and his 
own belief is that correct action possesses its power of freeing 
from samsdra not owing to God’s Grace, nor again because 
it is done in honour of the Highest, but simply because 
it pertains to sattva. 

Thus the very clear arrangement of Treatise {B) is as 
follows : — 

Its Ultimate Theme: The attainment of freedom from 
Karman, which is equivalent to freedom from sam- 
sdra, as steadfastness in sattva. 

(1) . Faith in accordance with sattva, xvii. 2-4; 

(2) . Diet, vv. 7-10; 

(5). Sacrifice, 11-13; 

(4) . Aseetic^sm, 14-19; 

(5) . True Almsgiving, 20-22; 

(6) . Spiritual Sannydsa, 

{a). Purvapaksha (Preliminary statement): Defini- 
tions of other Teachers, xviii. 2, 3; 


(6). SiddMnta (Canon): Krishna's own description 
of SannydsUy 4-12 ; 

(7). The Doctrine of Correct Action: 

[a ) . The Conditions and Essence of all Action, 18, 19 ; 
[h). Its Detailed Features: 

Correct Knowledge ^ 20-22 , 

Correct Action y 23-25; 

The Veritable Actor, 26-28; 

True Power of Judgment, 29-32 ; 

True Constancy, 33-35; 

True Happiness, 36-39 ; 

( 5 ). Correct Action as that of the Different Castes, based 
on the Guna Law, 40-44; 

(9). The Doctrine of Caste Action, culminating in that 
of specific duties, Svadharma, 47, 48 ; 

(10). Conclusion and Summary of the Whole Treatise 
and its Termination, 49. 

This exhortation, so intrinsically coherent and so skilfully 
and lucidly presented, by a writer who knew exactly what 
he intended to say, as well as the goal at which he aimed, 
enables the deviations due to the Glosses to be readily 
detected. In conclusion, therefore, I regard xvii. 5, 6, if 
not as a Gloss, then as at least an interpolated Section. 
Certainly the polemic against excessive asceticism is itself 
wholly in the spirit of the author of the Treatise; if, how- 
ever, it was actually written by him, then there can be no 
doubt that, originally, it followed v, 19. An author who 
arranges his subject matter so skilfully would not suddenly 
interject a totally inapposite reference to tap as into the 
middle of his disquisition on Faith and dietetic regulations, 
particularly not when he subsequently discusses tapas in 
detail in its proper place, where it usually and traditionally 
appears — ^between sacrifice and almsgiving. Originally, 
then, vv, 5 and 6 formed a marginal comment intended as 
a supplement to v. 19, in which self-torment is specifically 



treated, being afterwards transferred from the margin of 
the MS. to its present erroneous position. 

(C). The Gita, xviii. 50-57. 

The utilization of the two combined subdivisions, A and 
B, by means of Bhakti soteriology. Connection with The 
Original Gita in vv, 56, 57. 

Treatise III, as the outcome of combining {A) and (B), 
actually sprang from neither Bhakti theology nor its charac- 
teristic attitude. In the appended vv. 50-57, however, it 
was pressed into the service of a Bhakti theologian, who 
did nothing more than associate it with the soteriological 
practice of his own particular bhakta tendency. 

In V. 49, as we have just seen, the author of Treatise III 
had arrived at his definite conclusion; he had led up to the 
Paramd Siddhi: — the highest. But in an obviously clumsy 
fashion his present commentator outbids this attainment 
of ‘The highest goal'' (in v. 49) by one still higher in v. 50, 
which is in accordance with the Samuccaya procedure of 
summation or systematic association. Just as in the later 
bhakta manuals which expound Samuccaya principles, 
technical Yoga and the Jhdna-Yoga are piled upon the 
Karma-Yoga, and then surmounted by the Bhakti- and 
Prapatti-Y oga, similarly at this earlier stage. Here again, 
however, Garbe appears to have been incorrect in finding 
difficulties as regards Brahman and Brahma-Bhdva. It is 
true that, in vv. 53, 54, a Brahma condition is recognized 
and discriminated; but this cannot be explained as being 
due to some Advaita theologian's attempt at timid correc- 
tion: if indeed he had done this, his device would have 
been at once frustrated by what follows; if then he wished 
to interpolate any rectification, from his own point of view 
he could insert this only after v, 55, but certainly not before. 
For he would have been compelled to describe the Brahma- 
Bhdva as a terminus, not as a thoroughfare; and what 
actually occurred here is just the reverse — ^that is the 


forcible device of a Ihakta, which was intended to subordinate 
the ancient Brahman itself to the idea of Isvara. 

It seems quite feasible at this stage to trace the history 
of attempts of this sort, since it appears possible to discern 
the actual course followed by such methods. Brahman, 
then, as originally a secret and magic sacrificial power, was 
at an early stage (and apparently before it became itself 
regarded as the primary Principle) conceived as someone's 
power — that is of one of the superior gods (or of a priest- 
magician) who possessed and could employ it ; a Brahmanas- 
pati is a being of this type — a possessor and lord of Brahman 
who has it at his own disposal. In Harivamsa, 172, for 
example, Brahman is the tejas, the magical brilliance, of 
Vasudeva, surrounding him like a glowing sphere of flame 
and power, into which other beings can enter. The Poem 
recounts Arjuna’s journey with Krishna, during which he 
sees strange miracles performed; the sea changes into a 
solid road, the mountains open, and they enter a gleaming 
cloud of heat and radiance. On his return home, Arjuna 
asks Krishna to explain these marvels and how he was able 
to produce them. In reply Krishna says: — 'That which is 
of the type of Brahma-tejas, which thou hast seen, is I 
myself. That is my eternal tejas. My highest nature, 
manifested yet unmanifested, it is eternal. Entering into 
this, the excellent knowers of Yoga are redeemed. 

"Know me alone as this highest tejas. This my highest 
nature is the goal of the sdnkhyas, and of the yogins also, 
and likewise of those who practise tapas. As the highest 
abode, this {tejas) is Brahman, and permeates the whole 

Similarly in Harivamsa 11,751, Bfahman is described 
simply as the tejas of Vishnu: brahma ca vaxshnavam tejas 
vedoktair vacanaih: — "Brahma is the tejas of Vishnu through 
the words uttered by the Vedas''. Likewise for the Bhakti 

1 172, 9763# 


theologian, Caitanya, Brahman is the radiant glow, the 
brilliance, of Being surrounding Bhagavat, into which those 
enter who have not been able to find the perfect BhaUi 
way, being thus a kind of foretaste of Heaven, as in The 
GUa, xiL 4. Here the comparison is drawn : — 

Just as the coarse eye of man, being dazzled, can see the 
sun only as a globe of uniform radiance, and not as the 
sun-god himself with his attributes, even so do the jhamns 
of Brahman without distinctions {nirvtsesha-Brahman) per- 
ceive only the unvaried radiant sphere (of God), but not 
Himself clearly with His attributes. 

There now arises, however, a further consideration. For 
Brahma-Bhdva and Brahma-Bhuya, in themselves at this 
stage very vaguely defined conditions which even in 
Brahman theology were open to differing interpretations, 
emerge from their own extremely narrow sphere of validity, 
the result being that just as Brahman can become one term 
for God, so Brahma-Bhdva can acquire the quite general 
meaning of the condition which was recognized at that 
period as the ideal — the condition, that is to say, of complete 
spiritual concentration and artless simplicity for which the 
yogin strives; and this is evidently the case m vv. 53, 54, 
where our Bhakti theologian describes one method of attain- 
ing his goal. Thus in addition to the fulfilment of the 
normal Ethic which he found in the Treatise he had appropri- 
ated, he now demands those specific attitudes of seclusion 
from the world, of solitude, meditation and the calming of 
the passions, from which the Bhakti flame ought to spring; 
and this wholly preparatory state he calls Brahma-Bhuya, 
while whoever is in this condition is styled by him a hrahma- 
bhuta — that is one who exists in Brahma-Bhdva. In this 
mood of perfect inner calm — exactly as for Christian disci- 
pline in the condition of '^crvxl'O' (and here Brahma-Bhdva is 
nothing but this) — ^the highest (paramo) Bhakh breaks forth. 

And the final stage is the imparting of divine jhdna by 


the Bhakti that has thus arisen. This sequence, once again, 
indicates a distinctive tendency in Bhakti theology, towards 
a conservative tradition, in which the old magical dignity 
of jhdna was still closely adhered to as being the actual 
means of redemption. This, however, is a tendency which is 
decisively opposed to that of the Sdndilya Sutras, and which 
had already been overcome in the present Treatises I and II. 

In V, 55 this Bhakti theologian had evidently expressed 
his own finest thought; on the other hand vv. 56, 57 are 
palpably halting, being in fact nothing but an attempt to 
effect a connection somehow or other with the context. In 
these two verses, then, the interpolator aims at achieving a 
close link with The Original Gitd (which is resumed in v. 58) 
utilizing the word maccitta in anticipation, and again pursu- 
ing a method with which we are already familiar; for m the 
context of The Original Gita itself this term has quite a 
different meaning from that of the general Bhakti attitude. 

It seems to me, therefore, that in v. 58 maccittah is clearly 
connected with Arjuna's statement (in xi. 51) that he has 
once again become sacetas, or come “to my senses''. “There- 
fore", replies The Supreme, “direct thy cetas (thoughts) to 
Me" — ^be maccittali* ; not, that is to say, merely in general 
terms as a bhakta, but rather in this definite situation, 
where Arjuna is not to follow his ahamkdra, not to pursue 
his own “senses" or “thoughts" but is to direct them to 
God’s Will. Similarly in xviii. 72, where Krishna refers 
again to the cetas which Arjuna has regained and to his 
concentrated attention to Krishna's words: — “Hast thou 
heard this with attentive mind?” — ^with thy cetas directed 
to Me? 

Treatise IV: The Gita, xiii (omitting vv. 2; 4; 12-18; 27, 
28; 30). 

The interrelations between this Treatise and Treatise II, 
which succeeds it in Chapters XIV, XV, are such that it 


follows from this Section alone that they were not both 
written by one author. It contains a Sa-Isvara-Sdnkhya in 
popular and edifying form, but with the difference that 
Treatise II exhibits actual features of Bhakti theology much 
more definitely than does the present Treatise. For this, 
strictly speaking, is influenced by Bhakti only in v. 10 — 
and this merely in passing. Its goal of redemption and its 
pathway to salvation are not those of xv. 19, but emphati- 
cally the Kaivalyam of Sdnkhya: — ^the isolation of the 
Purusha from Praknti by correct jndna, and in fact by 
knowledge not of the Lord, but rather of the contrast between 
Purusha and Prakriti. On the other hand, however, it is 
not strictly scholastic Sdnkhya, but a popular application of 
Sdnkhya ideas which have been given an edifying form; it 
has no genuine interest in describing the Purusha m its 
absolute isolation as pure jMna', and jMna itself, which 
according to the Sdnkhya is nothing but the knowledge 
possessed by the isolated spirit about itself, and as devoid 
of all objective content, undergoes an edifying change Of 
interpretation into the essence of virtuous spiritual behaviour 
[vv. 7-10),^ 

That neither Brahma-Nirvana nor departure to the Lord 
is the goal of salvation, but precisely isolation from the 
material world, with its ecstasy {Kaivalyam), is declared 
by the final and culminating verse of the Treatise in the 
clearest and plainest words {v, 34): — “They who know the 
difference '' — ^the viveka of Sdnkhya — ^precisely in so doing 
“go to the highest goah'. The Treatise is constructed most 
lucidly and consistently with this ultimate result in view, 
and thus the concluding sentence itself provides a canon for 
the discrimination of' obvious interpolations. 

^ This, still further, corresponds in all respects to the new inter- 
pretation vrhiclii jnana also receives in Bhakti theology, as for example 
from Ramanuja. Here too jhana becomes identical with concrete 
spiritual content and conduct of a religious-moral type. Bhakti 
itself is jnana. 


(j). For if the issue concerns the "'difference'' in question, 
then it must first of all be decided who are these two, thus 
to be distinguished from one another — on the one hand '"the 
knower of the field [Purushay* with his ""power" {jMna), 
and on the other ""the field [PraknUy itself; and v. i states 
this problem. But then v, 2 becomes quite meaningless, 
and is undoubtedly a Vedantic interpolated correction, 
since what it clumsily anticipates can be inferred (as is in 
fact the case) only after the field has first of all been 
described. Actually then, and in perfect accord with the 
presentation of the theme, there follows in the first place 
the description of the field {vv. 3-6, omitting v, 4), and 
afterwards that of the knower of the field and his ""power" 
or jndna {vv. 7-11). 

Verses 12--18, again, are Vedantic insertions by an inter- 
polator who remains, nonetheless, quite unconscious of 
his own unskilful additions. Certainly ""what should be 
known" (to which he refers in v. 12) is in the present Treatise, 
and in agreement with its final culminating sentence, by no 
means Brahman, but rather the distinction in question here 
between the ""field" and the ""knower of the field"; so that 
if the author of the Treatise had himself regarded Brahman 
as being the goal of salvation, then his concluding sentence, 
expressing as it does pure Sdnkhya doctrine, must have 
completely misled his readers. 

(2). In the next place, the theory of the distinction 
|)etween the field and the power of the field-knower, con- 
tained in vv, i-ii, is still further developed in vv. 19-23; 
and in v. 23 the fruit of this knowledge is described, and 
once again in such a way that the result of salvation — not 
being reborn, that is to say, or freedom from samsdra — is 
attained purely through this very knowledge, and without 
the slightest reference to the mysteries in the interpolation 
vv. I2“I8. 

This is followed by the brief statement, in vv. 24, 25, how 



the knowledge of this field-knower is obtained, while 
vv, 26-33 (but omitting 27, 28, 30) inculcate anew that, in 
spite of the pervasive connection between the Purusha and 
Praknh, and the resultant confusion of these with each 
other which inevitably forces itself upon the ordinary mind, 
the inert Purusha must be regarded as completely separate 
from Prakriti, which alone is active; and they extol the 
'"knower of the field'' {Kshetrajna) for his spotlessness and 
illuminating power^, while v, 34, evidently in the closest 
connection with the warning of v. 29, but without the 
slightest reference to the interpolated v. 30, asserts that he 
who perceives "'even so" attains thereby the very highest 

With reference to v. 4, it is obvious that this Purusha, 
here depicted in purely Sdnkhya terms, is not celebrated in 
the Brahma Sutra songs; whence it follows that this verse 
is an awkward interpolation; vv, 27, 28, again, simply tear 
apart vv. 26 and 29, which are actually as closely associated 
as the two halves of an egg, and should likewise be expunged;’ 
and this is equally true of v. 30, in which some Vedantic 
glossographer, with unusual tenacity, has sought to domesti- 
cate a Sdnkhya Text. But the old Text amply justifies 
itself by its own closely knit structure and by the extremely 
precise presentation of the goal in vv. 23 and 34 

The obvious arrangement of the Treatise, then, is as 
follows : — 

(i) . The Field, and the '"power" of the Knower of 

the Field: vv. i, 3. 

{a). Description of the Field: 5, 6. 

{b). Description of the “power" of the Field- 
knower, or jndna 7-11. 

(ii) . The Relation between the Two, and the Cause of 

Evil' 19-22. 

^ Garbe wrongly excluded vv 31-33; they are pure Sanhhya 


(ill). The Way to Salvation. 

{a). Saving Knowledge: 23. 

(6). How This is Gained: 24, 25. 

(c) . In What it Consists: 26, 29, 31-33. 

(d) . Its Goal of Salvation: 34. 



The Treatises discussed in the preceding Chapter compose 
the second half of The GUd. In these, on the one hand, 
many similar features are repeated, a fact that in itself 
leads to the presumption that they are not the work of any 
single writer, since one and the same author would never 
repeat himself so aimlessly; on the other hand, they include 
obviously different types of doctrine, which intensifies the 
necessity of concluding that more than one writer was con- 
cerned. The occasional addresses to Arjuna, which are 
intended to connect all this material to the schema of The 
Onginal GUd, cannot deceive us; for as I have previously 
observed, the Treatises were either written with the explicit- 
view to their incorporation in The Original GUd, or they 
had previously been composed, and were then modified for 
that purpose by slight adaptations. 

As regards the Treatises that still remain, I have post- 
poned to a later stage, in the first place, the series of themes 
connected with the Introductory Section of The Original 
GUd, i-ii. 37; these extend to iv. 42, which definitely 
brings them to a conclusion with the apostrophe, “Stand 
up, 0 Bharata”, and constitute Treatise VII.^ 

Treatise V : The Gita, v. 

With the first verse? of this Treatise a fresh approach is. 
initiated. For instead of bestirring himself to fight, Arjuna 
now begins the enquiry about Sannydsa. The general 
attitude adopted in this Section, nonetheless, is identical 

^ cf. p. 227. 



with that of its predecessor, in which an intimate connection 
between Sdnkhya and Yoga has been achieved. Interpola- 
tions in the Sdnkhya sense had been inserted into the 
Text of The Original Gitd, and Character-Yog^? discussed 
together with recapitulations of Sdnkhya doctrines ; and now 
Treatise V selects the relation between Sdnkhya and Yoga 
as its own particular theme. These, it asserts, ''are wholly 
one*' {v. 5) : this is the thema probandum. It follows the 
course of thought of the preceding Treatise so closely that 
Treatise V is merely a supplementary Appendix to VII, 
and may in fact have been written, as an addition, by the 
same author. In considering these features, again, the 
highly significant method adopted by the writer must 
throughout be borne in mind because, once its proper 
character has been ascertained, it immediately becomes a 
reliable criterion for discriminating the perturbations due 
to the Glosses which were afterwards interpolated. 

The author does not advocate the wholly unreasonable 
'view that Sdnkhya and Yoga are essentially identical, being 
merely different names for one and the same attitude and 
system, but rather that they lead to the same goal — ^to kdnti, 
or inward spiritual peace — and that in this way they 
enhance one another and must be practised simultaneously. 
In themselves, however, they are of course very different; 
and the author's procedure enables him, from alternating 
viewpoints, to contrast the two systems with one another, 
in such a way that the specific peculiarity of each is presented 
as clearly as is their common and identical aim : — sdnti. 

The profound distinction between Sdnkhya and Yoga, 
then, consists in this: — Sdnkhya is a process of thought, 
whereas Y og^^s_aiL.apt ^f wilh «Tn Sdnkhya, jhdna is 
primarily emphasized, but in Yoga volitional effort. For 
this reason Yoga is explicitly called Karma-Yoga; this, 
however, must not be confused with Karma-mdrga, since 
it indicates the element of practical willing in Yoga exertion, 


as distinguished from the theoretical and intellectual 
character of Sankhya, In Sdnkhya, that is to say, all depends 
on attaining insight, and on the repeated ratification of this 
insight that the Pumsha is neither body nor senses, neither 
thought nor will; the sankhya himself continually practises 
the ''enumeration’'^ — samkhydna — of the various tattvas of 
Nature, and in so doing he repeatedly substantiates the 
requisite insight: — na aham, na me, "I am not that, and 
that is not mine”. He solves the problem of the Purusha, 
therefore, by thinking away whatever is foreign to it, while 
the yogin solves it by willing away the alien elements ; and 
this contrast had always subsisted in primitive magical 
Yoga, By an immense effort of will the yogin induces a 
state of inner tension, of internal "heat”, which causes the 
"knots” to be torn asunder so that ultimately, as though an 
explosion had occurred, the spirit breaks forth from its 
integument, and is torn out just "like an arrow-shaft out 
from a reed”.^ Thus, it is described in Buka’s magnificent 
Yog^^-discipline: an inward wrestling, a fight with clenched* 
fists against constraining powers, a Karman as an intensified 
act of resolution and of will, are there depicted, and by 
mighty volitional acts the spirit breaks out from its bonds 
to fly freely in the ether. But so it is too in the later tech- 
nical exercises of ordinary Yoga, where it is no affair of 
merely thinking "I am not that, and that is not mine”, but 
rather of powerful wrestling with the vega (urge) of the 
passions and the refractoriness of the fleeting senses, with 
the "convulsions” of manas : all this is no mere act of thought 
but Karma, a willed deed : not simply lucid jndna but virya, 
valour. And this is equally the case with Character- Yoga: 
the dehberate conquest of inclination, energetic tearing of 
oneself loose from the fettering interests of life and from 

^ cf. The Anugita, 1314; “while he, as one who knows the tattvas, 
enumerates these“ (Deussen). 

^ Katha Upamshad, vi. 17 (Hume). 



concern for work and reward, self-subjection, adequate 
[daksha) force of will, and never the idea — ‘'I myself do not 
act"' {v. 8) — constitute real Character- In the highly 
original description of the Yoga method in the Harivamsa, 
XI. 736, it is said that the yogin must practise nirvikdrena 
karmana ?- — "'with action that knows neither remission nor 
difficulty"'; his activity (to repeat) being an affair not so 
much of thought as of will, a Karma-Yoga rather than 
Jndna-Yoga, Similarly The Anugltd, 1195,^ runs: — '"the 
essential characteristic of Yoga is activity'' (which Deussen 
correctly explains in terms of specific technical actions such 
as prdndydma — ^breath control — etc). 

These two methods were nevertheless bound to come into 
contact with one another, and could be connected together. 
Thus the yogin could accept the doctrine of the contrast 
between the Purusha and Prakriti, and incorporate the 
method of 'Hhink%ng away” in his own discipline, while the 
sdnkhya could recognize the Karman. of Yoga as being a 
preparation — an updya — ^for the attainment of the viveka 
— of drawing this contrast. In the same way the present 
author compares both together, setting the one beside the 
other and demanding that each should supplement the other 
so that they should both be "one”. 

After presenting his thema probandum in v. 4, therefore, 
he proceeds to this comparison: in the first place, then, 

(а) . The Attitude of the sdnkhya, vv, 8, 9: — 

The trained "philosopher” — ^the tattvavid, the knower of 
the tattvas, and therefore the sdnkhya — thinks: — "I myself do 
not act. For whether seeing, hearing, walking, sleeping” 
— and similarly in the functions of the perceptive capacities 
as well as the active — "he cherishfe the idea 'only the 
senses function, but not I myself ”. 

(б) . The yogin' s Attitude, ii, 12: — 

The yogin does not think, but "performs action” — ^that is 

^ cf, p. 124. 2 Deussen, p. 968. 



to say, the Karman of his discipline as well as that of daily 
life. Certainly in so doing he knows (as he has learnt from 
the sdnkhyas) that he performs his actions only with his 
body and senses, with manas and buddhi, and not with the 
''self'; still it is essentially a matter of "action", not of 
thinking. By means of the deliberate conquest of himself, 
in suppressing his inclinations, he attains therefore, just as 
does the sdnkhyay peace of soul. Thus while there are 
undeniably two ways there is only one goal. Secondly: — 
[a). The Attitude of the sdnkhyay 13-17: — 

By means of his thinking y the spiritual subject casts away 
from himself all works. Wholly intent upon this knowledge, 
actually being it, in fact, and through knowledge free from 
all defilement, the sdnkhya attains the goal: never to return.^ 
(&). Th.tyogtn*s Attitude again, 23 and 27-29: — 

Resisting (by force of will) the powerful urge {vega) of 
desire and anger, practising the Karman of systematic 
discipline,^ training himself in intently thinking about the 
Lord {Isvara-pramdhdna) y^ the yogin gains peace of soul: 
thus once again two ways, yet only one goal: — qx,d. 

No one could deal with his theme more skilfully, by means 
of this careful juxtaposition, than the author has done 
here; on the other hand, it would be impossible to derange 
so well constructed a whole more clumsily and obviously 
than do the Glosses in vv, 6, 7, 10, 18-22, 24-26. 

1 Garbe placed vv. 16, 17 in brackets, but quite incorrectly; the 
sdnkhyaSy m fact, are the jnanins par excellence; cf, p, 293. 

2 All this is referred to in vv. 23, 27, 28, and consists m vohUonal 
acts of disci-pime--K arniany as distinct from the mere jnana of the 

® Certainly thoughts about God, as a method of dhdrand, of fixing 
the mind on its object, ar6 part of the Karman of Yoga, and that is 
why it is mentioned here. But once again the goal is simply the 
Kaivalyam of idntiy only not now, as in Bhakh theology, the depar- 
ture to the Lord. Thus the author of the Treatise holds fast to the 
very end to his thema probandum — that Sdnkhya and Yoga, so far 
as their goal is concerned, are one; cf. Note on vi. 14 

2o8 the treatises OF THE FIRST PART 

With respect to these comparisons and distinctions, still 
further, its synthesis of the radically contrasted ways which 
share a common goal in pure sdnti, and the moderation 
displayed towards a Sdnkhya which (as vv. i6, 17, prove) is 
throughout regarded as an An-Isvara-Sdnkhya — Sdnkhya 
dissociated from Kvara — ^by which the entire Section is 
characterized, the Treatise in The Sdnhparvan 301, which 
is similarly self-contained, may be referred to.^ There too 
the yogin, as one possessing mighty will power, is contrasted 
with the sdnkhya as a man of knowledge; there too both 
ways are connected together. On the one hand, and in this 
markedly differing from Treatise V, the transcendent Yoga 
experience is elevated to the height of Brahman experience 
and universal experience. But how all this is effected is 
equally instructive: for it is not brought about by the 
author (so to speak) injecting his remarks sporadically, 
in single isolated sentences and phrases which palpably 
interrupt the well-ordered main structure, but in a quite 
systematic way at the end of the whole passage. In the 
present Treatise, on the other hand, the contrary is the case; 
for what, in the previous instance, is a conclusion which has 
its proper place and is led up to in an orderly fashion, is 
here arbitrarily and forcibly intruded in the form of Glosses, 
The culminating conclusion in v, 29, however, knows nothing 
about the goal of salvation in Brahman, but only the sdnti 
of Kaivalyam in being ecstatically isolated from the material 

Treatise VI : The Gita, vi-ix. 

This Treatise presupposes its predecessor in so far as it 
resumes the enquiry about correc1^ Sannydsa which was 
there introduced, with the view to its more adequate dis- 
cussion. Its standpoint, nevertheless, is obviously different 
from that of Treatise V, since it says not one word about 
^ In Roy's Translation, pp. 406 Jf. 



Sdnkhya method and the intimate association between 
Sdnkhya and Yoga. First of all it develops a pure Sa~ 
Isvara-Yoga in [A], but only to erect upon it, and to expand 
it by, the consistent Bhakti doctrine m (jB). 

The complete set of principles of this new author is 
therefore clearly recognizable as that of the developing 
BhakU-Visishta-Advaita, and the Treatise as a whole con- 
cludes with a beautiful and fervent presentation of Bhakti 
doctrine as its outstanding feature. The Sa-Isvara-Yoga, 
however, is recognized to be a preliminary stage and, as 
such, described in detail; and thus the Section falls into 
two readily distinguishable halves — 

{A). The Depiction of Sa-Isvara-Yoga: 
and advancing beyond this : — 

(B), The Presentation of Bhakti Theology. 

[A). Sa-Isvara-Yoga as the Preliminary Stage: Chapter VI. 

(j). In the first place, it resumes the enquiry of the pre- 
ceding Section about Sannydsa; then this is answered, the^ 
first sentence plainly correcting its predecessor, and in more 
precise terms than the latter. Two ways are not now to 
be distinguished (as in v. 2), one better and the other a worse, 
nor again is forbearance to be extended towards the false 
practice of Sannydsa; rather does genuine Sannydsa consist 
solely in the accomplishment of the necessary action accom- 
panied, however, by inner freedom from striving after 
reward. But such renunciation is at the same time true 
Yoga, which requires no completion by means of Sdnkhya; 
Yoga being employed here mainly in the extended sense of 
the term, to mean firm control over oneself and steadfast 
inner spiritual concentration — ^m short. Character- Yoga, 
This more spiritual significance of Yoga, as the mood of 
complete self-possession, is more fully developed in vi. 1-9. 

(2). In the next place, the systematic discipline of techni- 
cal Yoga is presented as an additional requirement; so that 

The Original Gita 




in vv, 10-22 there follows a Section which, in the main, has 
the typical character not of Bhakti theology and method, 
but that of mere Sa-Isvara-Yoga. Although this is certainly 
theistic, still God does not hold any really central place in 
it, nor is He Himself, nor essentially, the actual goal of 
salvation, which is here Nirvdnam. A simple Sa-Isvara- 
Yoga of this type is first of all presented, its subdivisions 
[angas), and especially the antar-angas (intermediate sub- 
divisions), being cited until v, 15 is reached; and that the 
thought of God is included in these (in v. 15) pertains pre- 
cisely to simple Sa-Isvara-Yoga as such. It is the most 
intense fixation of the mind on its object {dhdrana), the 
purpose of which is to calm and '"suppress’" manas; and in 
accordance with Yoga, the state of salvation itself is 
described (in vv. 20-22) as the pure Nirvana of the siddha, 
without Brahman and without Isvara. The author of these 
verses, therefore, could not and would not assert that 
Sdnkhya and Yoga are one in their aim, as did the preceding 
writer. For in contrast to the Kaivalya of Sdnkhya, Nir- 
vdna is for him a condition of superabundant and fosiUve 
bliss — a distinction often vigorously emphasized by Yoga 
in controversy with Sdnkhya] he praises his Nirvdna in 
ecstatic terms, such as no sdnkhya could ever use. On the 
other hand, and quite definitely, this bliss is not yet, as it 
is in later BhakU Sections, blessedness in God, but simply 
the rapturous repose of the liberated spirit in itself and in 
its own absoluteness; it is, in other words, essentially the 
bliss of the siddha, not of the bhakta; and thus the author 
still remains wholly at the preliminary stage of mere Sa- 
Isvara-Yoga, as for example m vv. 20, 21, where the self 
rejoices in the self, but not in God.^ ^ 

1 This is contradicted neither by v. 14, since thinking about the 
Lord (Iharapranidhana) pertains to the Karman of Yoga, nor by 
the words ‘*idnhm matsamstham'* m t;. 15, which Garbe translated 
as '‘the repose which depends on Me''. That God assists towards 
the yogin's success is indeed not denied by Sa-Uvara-Yoga, which 



(3). Verses 23-36 (omitting 27-32) proceed to discuss help- 
ful factors that assist the practice of the extremely difficult 
Karman of Yoga, especially the obstacles confronting the 
novice in bringing the restless manas under control. These 
observations are remarkably coherent, and plainly proceed 
from V, 26 directly to v. 33. 

On these grounds Garbe quite rightly excluded vv, 27-32; 
but he overlooked the fact that, in this interpolation, it is 
once again not an affair of any violent opposition to Bhakh, 
but precisely of a section of Bhakti itself of a type that I 
shall discuss later on.^ 

{ 4 )- The Section, vv. 37-46, deals with a problem which 
was undoubtedly a frequent topic in Yoga circles. For 
many persons will never have succeeded in pursuing the 
extremely toilsome way of Yoga to the very end; have their 
exertions then been altogether in vain? Is it worth while 
beginning a path whose end one may never be able to reach? 
Krishna's answer affably resolves this scruple. 

( 5 ). The Bhakti Section, vi. 47-ix. 

With VI. 47 the author begins the presentation of Bhakti- 
Marga as the higher fulfilment of this mere Sa-Isvara-Yoga- 
Mdrga. For the best of all yogins — the really perfect yogin 
— ^is solely he who seeks his salvation in Bhakti itself, and 

endeavours in fact to incorporate this principle, thus far therefore 
it too might well assert that repose is “dependent’* on God. The 
term samstha, however, means not “dependent on”, but “dwelling 
in”, which corresponds exactly to the theory of Sa-ltvara-Yoga. 
I^vara, indeed, is as “satisfied” {dptakama) always blessed; in him, 
therefore, repose ever dwells. But the yogin wishes to attain by 
means of his discipline the same condition as the “Supreme Spirit”, 
and hence to obtain the same peace which also subsists in God. 
Thus the expression does not here mean that the yogin, like the 
hhakta, gams his peace in and through God, but that he wins the 
same peace as dwells in God as in him who is saved from eternity 
— the nitya-mukta. Here too, then, it is not yet a matter of genuinely 
Bhakti doctrine, but only of the preliminary stage of a Sa-Uvara- 
Yoga\ cf. p. 292. 1 cf. p. 214. 



therewith in God Himself, not in the Nirvana of the mere 
siddha. Here then there already appear indications of the 
later developments of Bhakti theology, since in this system 
it has always been incumbent upon the mere Kaivalya- 
yogin that he should be released from samsdra. But this 
Samuccaya^ attitude has not been invariably adopted, as 
in this instance, in the sense that the yogin was regarded as 
a natural candidate for salvation through Bhakti. At a later 
period, certainly, he was allowed to escape samsdra, but at 
the same time he was not admitted to the highest salvation ; 
rather was he confined in some ''corner” outside samsdra, 
but by this very fate he was for ever excluded from the 
highest access to God, since in fact he did not "return”. 

(B) is subdivided as follows : — 

( j) . Knowledge, vii. 1-14. In this type of Bhakti theology, 
too, everything depends on correct and lofty knowledge of 
God; and thus The Supreme first of all teaches the specu- 
lative theology of vv. 4-13. This God too is a Universal 
"Deity and contains the Universe in Himself — ^that is in His 
two "Natures”, the lower or jada as the totality of the 
unspiritual, and the higher or pva, the sum of the spiritual 
in the Universe, both alike being specified by the constituents 
of the three gunas. High above these gunas stands God 
Himself, but by the deluded He is not recognized behind 
the veil of the gunas. 

(2) . The Knower, 15-30. The knower attains salvation 
in God; he who knows not can only serve the devas and 
gain mere earthly gifts. Knowledge, or "release from 
delusion” {v. 28), is attained by good works, and then know- 
ledge imparts the redeeming Bhakti. 

(3) . Eschatology. 

(a). Individual Eschatology, viii. 5-16. The final goal 
is the blissful departure to God, and is attained primarily by 
correct and pious behaviour in the hour of death {vv. 5-8). 

^ P- 195* 



This is confirmed by the insertion of an ancient hymn (in 
Upendravajra strophes) which is briefly annotated {vv. 9-16). 

(6). Cosmic Eschatology, 17-21. 

(c). The Conclusion of {a) and (6) in v, 22.^ 

(^). God's Freedom from the Law of Karman, in spite of 
His -unwearied activity, ix. 7-9. 

It seems to me that Garbe connected this Section with 
VIII. 19 quite unjustifiably. For much more do these verses 
contain new and independent ideas, on the one hand exhibit- 
ing God as One Who is unweariedly active in the play of 
the Universe, and on the other hand solving the problem 
which consequently and inevitably arises for Hindu 
thought — How God, active in this way, can nevertheless 
be free from the Law of Karman. — ^this being the Indian 
formulation of the question, which confronts every Theism, 
as to God’s superiority over Necessary Law. 

All this spontaneously clears the way for the next Sec- 
tion: — for since God,, by virtue of His '"Nature” , effects all, 
fools allow themselves to be dazzled by Nature, and do not 
recognize God behind Nature, which belongs to Him. This 
Section (4) is followed in due course by (5) {yv. 10-25), 
which first of all contrasts Faith with the unbelief of those 
deluded by Nature, and then its lower and perturbed phases 
with mature and lucid belief. 

(5) . The Relation of the sole true Bhakti religion to the 
incredulous and the sceptical; the superiority of Bhakti and 
the characteristics of the hhakta, ix. 10-25. 

(6) . Concluding Exposition of the all-embracing Bhakti, 
which makes blessed and destroys sin, ix. 26-34. 

I shall now discuss the verses in this Treatise which Garbe 
placed in brackets. 

(j). Chapter VI. 27-32. Here it s evident that v. 33 
follows most closely on v. 26, the connection being that 
after the description of Yoga technique as such, the diffi- 
1 On VIII. 23-ix. 6, cf, pp. 222 f . 



culties to be overcome therein were to be described; but 
vv, 27-32 intrude upon this clear and firm structure in the 
most disturbing way. Still further, as we have just seen, 
it was principally an affair of the presentation of mere 
Sa-Isvara-Yoga which, as vv. 20, 21, clearly prove, asserts 
the goal of salvation to be the simple siddhatvam, not the 
goal in God, which first of all appears explicitly in the 
BhakU Section beginning with v, 47. Whoever has grasped 
the method of these Treatises, which exhibit throughout a 
systematic and, if not always very firm, at least a well- 
ordered structure, must be surprised that the correctness 
of Garbe’s views on these points can ever have remained 
unrecognized. On the other hand, however, Garbe was 
mistaken in thinking that this short Section — vv. 27-32 — 
is an intrusion of impersonal Vedanta mysticism. For in 
this passage too it is essentially a matter of BhakU, of that 
type which I have already called Advaita BhakU, ^ when I 
maintained that BhakU can sympathize wholeheartedly 
with '‘mysticism” and can, indeed, harbour within itself a 
tendency to pass over into mysticism that is, however, 
essentially different from the "cool” mysticism of abstract 
impersonal Advaita, Rather does it become a personal 
mysticism, with God as its Object, which fills the terms of 
impersonal mysticism with its own warm emotional content. 
Thus the Eternal One becomes the God of Grace of BhakU; 
at the same time, however, this personal mysticism, whose 
Object is God, also exhibits the aspect of intimate union, 
of experiencing Him as the Being in Whom antitheses 
vanish, of seeing God in oneself and oneself in God, and 
thereby oneself in unity with all things and all things in 
unity with oneself. In this Section ^therefore {vv, 27-32) 
we find the mysticism of the Ud Upanishad and the Vishnu 
Burma, with its wholly personal implications. Further — 
although Garbe failed to observe this too — owing to its 

1 cf. p. 166, 



personal Bhakti mysticism the brief passage vv. 27-32 is very 
sharply contrasted with impersonal Advaita mysticism, and 
expresses this profound difference bluntly and openly, and 
with a polemical purpose, in v. 30. For the essential charac- 
teristic of impersonal Advaita mysticism is, in fact, that in 
it the '‘triad’', or the contrast between the knower, the 
object known and the process of knowing, and at the same 
moment the antithesis between God and man, must vanish) 
and this reproach is indeed repeatedly levied against it, 
from the standpoint of personal religion, even in India 
itself, since it implies that the individual person is "lost”, 
while God is likewise "lost” to man, both being reciprocally 
lost to one another. And the most explicit protest against 
this essentially impersonal Advaita is to be found in vi. 30, 
although it is at the same moment the tenderest in the 
entire GUd : — 

’ Whoso sees Me in all things, and sees all things in Me, 

I am not lost to him, nor is he lost to Me. 

These words, simple though they are, express the protest 
against the ancient mysticism of the Upamshadsy in its 
true form, much more vigorously than do all Ramanuja's 
arguments in opposition to Sankara, and in them genuine 
BhdkU employs its own most impressive terms. Certainly 
it is a type of Bhakti which, owing to its specific emotional 
attitude, even though this has a quite different aspect, has 
led to the experience of the profound unity of all things in 
One Who is, however, a personal and not an impersonal 
One. It is in truth the mysticism of Tersteegen — that 
form into which finally even Eckhardt's rugged Advaita 
repeatedly passes, and which subsequently finds its popular 
expression in the Bhdgavata and Vishnu Pur ana. Occa- 
sionally, again, it lives even in the songs of the dlvdrs, the 
precursors of the severely personalis tic Yamunamuni and 
his disciple Ramanuja. 



(2). Chapter VII . 14, 15. Garbe excluded these verses 
because the term Maya occurs in them. But this seems to 
me to be incorrect, and on this point I may refer to my 
remarks on the characteristic ambiguity of Mdyd in Mysticism 
East and West, pp. 95 jf. Garbe translated the term by 
'"the Universe that appears’' or ''the apparent Universe”. 
With this, however, it is not concerned, since it actually 
implies God’s creative and universal activity, through which 
this Universe with its gunas, that is to say its three World 
constituents, exists.^ But at the same time this creative 
activity and all its results, even according to the doctrine 
of Bhakti theologians, constitute an absolute Self-conceal- 
ment of God behind His work — a hrodhdna or obscuring of 
the Creator by and through His creation; and the inevitable 
consequence of this is that man turns towards the World 
and its objects and concerns, instead of directing his spirit 
towards the Creator. To this extent, then, the possibility 
of this deviation from God lies actually in the Creator 
Himself; so far, therefore, He is really the great "deceiver” 
and His Mdyd an "illusion”, since He Himself produces the 
Universe and those very sense objects which take the human 
spirit captive and divert it from Him. But on the other 
hand, and with respect to exhortation and admonition, the 
true cause of this proneness to self-deception lies in that 
"desire” for the things of sense which actually leads man 
away from God or, as v, 15 immediately adds, in their 
"diabolical nature”. According to their real meaning, 
therefore, both verses rightly pertain to the soteriological 
context in with they stand here, and should under no 
conditions be omitted. 

(5). But as regards vii. S-ii, the case is quite different. 
These are certainly not Non-duality doctrine {Advaita- 
vdda) in any technical sense, since they are associated with 
a specific idea of God v^hich has no connection whatever 

^ cf. p. 1 18. 



with either Advaita or Dvaita, and springs from a wholly 
different source. Here God is conceived not so much as 
unum in omnibus ^ but rather as optimum in omnibus; and 
this has an essentially different meaning and arises from 
quite different ideas. They fall into line, in fact, with the 
other lengthy and important interpolation in x. 12-42, 
with which I shall deal later on in Treatise VIII. But for 
this very reason they did not originally form part of the 
present Treatise, which has no interest whatever in all this, 
while (still further) their hymn style is completely different 
from the easily recognizable prosaic style of the author 
with whom I am here concerned. For since he was most 
definitely a Theist, intent on rejecting all confusion between 
God and His creatures, he was compelled immediately to 
add to his assertion that all beings originate from the two 
"'Natures” of God, and therefore from Himself, so that God 
is Himself the origin and the end of the Universe, the 
obviously restrictive, assurance of v. 12 (which controverts 
the independence assigned to Prakriti in Sdnkhya) that 
everything constituted by the three gunas is in truth no 
self-dependent essence, independent of God, but likewise 
springs from Him alone: it does not include and comprehend 
Him, but, on the contrary. He as the superior Being contains 
and comprehends it. Verse 7, however, should not be 
bracketed, since it simply summarizes the principle (just 
enunciated) that all things are changing forms of God's 
own "Nature”; He, in truth, by virtue of His "Nature” is 
the thread that sustains and connects all that is: — "In so 
far, that is, as I, with My two Natures, pervade all things 
as the sustaining ground of their being” {v. yb). I differ 
from Garbe here, therefore, and regard this verse as neces- 
sarily pertaining to the Text. It asserts that there is no 
higher primal principle than the personal Hvara Himself, 
Who effects everything and (in virtue of His two "Natures”) 
is everything. There is, for example, no ostensible imper- 

2i8 the treatises OF THE FIRST PART 

sonal Aksharam Brahma , subsisting as higher than even He. 

[ 4 ) , What has just been said, still further, applies to 
vii. 25, 26, since here likewise there is no reference to 
''the Universe that appears"’. Yoga-Mdyd means creative 
power by means of Yoga, that is to say the Yoga of the 
great Yogin and May in, or in other words of God. Yoga 
therefore, which originally meant magical power, is in this 
passage, as in several others, simply God’s miraculous 
Power which authenticates itself in His Mdyd — ^in His 
fashioning of the Universe.^ According to Sridhara, Yoga 
is the bringing into activity of an incomprehensible (super- 
natural, and originally magical) knowledge; this Yoga is 
precisely Mdyd, or m other words, "the capacity actually 
to realize the impossible”. God creates by means of both, 
while through His creation God is samchanna — "masked”. 
In the same way, as I have already observed, Luther regarded 
"Nature” as larva Dei, 

(5) . I feel inclined, too, to defend yii. 29, 30, as against 
•Garbe’s comments. They run : — ' 'They who strive for release 
from old age and death, in simple trust in Me, know by its 
means Brahman complete as present in the self, and all 
action. They who know Me as present in beings, as present 
in the gods, and as present in the sacrifice, and also at the 
time of their departure, which alone is true knowledge, 
with trained minds”. Thus Sridhara correctly explains 
the sense of these verses: — "They who worship Me in this 
manner know all that it is necessary to know, and have 
reached the goal”. Their aim, therefore, is not to elucidate 
learned issues, but to say that "He who, in need of salvation, 
takes refuge in Me and strives onwards along the path of 
virtue already indicated, has what^the wisest theologian 
has (or has not)”. In that case, however, v, 30 means not 
that "He who in the hour of death has the correct theology 
about Me, knowing how to define Me in terms such as 

1 cf , p. 1 17. 



Adhibhuta, Adhidaiva, Adhiyajfia” , but on the contrary: 
“He who knows that precisely all the highest and deepest 
things are I, the God Who can be attained by worship and 
virtuous conduct, he really knows Me — not he who speculates 
about these matters”. This interpretation is fully sustained 
in viii. 5, while vin. 1-4 form a clumsy marginal Gloss 
which, in failmg to grasp the proper standpoint accurately, 
regarded it as necessary to explain the terms of lofty 
scholastic speculation that are quoted simply by way of 
example, but against which the practical and edifying 
viewpoint of the Treatise is definitely directed. It is, in 
fact, just as though one were to say to a simple believer 
in Christ, who is troubled because he understands nothing 
of advanced dogmatic theology: — “He who, until his last 
moments, rehes on the blood and righteousness of Christ, 
understands the entire Trinity and the two Natures better 
than all the doctors”. Bhakti doctrine, then, is doctrine for 
the plain man, and the true sense of the two verses 29, 30, 
is to express this principle. In v. 2ga, therefore, the author 
purposely chooses, for his description of the bliss of salvation, 
not such sublime expressions as Nirvana, Brahma-Nirvana, 
Siddhi or Samsiddhi, but rather the primitive old phrase : — 
“He who wishes to be free from age and death”, just as we 
should say quite simply “He who would go to Heaven”; 
V. 295, again, is not concerned with elevated scholarship 
but with simple trust in God, and whoever has this is the 
genuine scholar and the one who has truly “the trained 
mind”. He cites a host of lofty theological terms, therefore, 
not at all because he thinks them important or seeks to 
explain them, but merely in order to say that “He who has 
till death the plain ‘and comforting faith ‘Vasudeva is 
all in all’ needs nothing more”. Brahma tat is a slightly 
mocking expression which has been the subject of much 
scholastic speculation, while here, presumably, Adhydtmam 
is intended for “the doctrine of the Adhydtman" as subtle 



speculation about the dtman, and ''all Karman'' is the 
philosophic system {mlmdmsd) of Vedic ritual action with 
its subtleties and sophistry; Adhidmvam approximates to 
divinum essentiale and Adhibhutam is ens entium; Adhiya- 
jnam is either "what refers to the sacrifice’' or "the 
actual sacrifice”, and depends on whether the Brahman 
theologian explained Brahman itself as the sacrifice, 
or the jMnayajna as the real offering, or perhaps the 
Adhiyajnas — ^the Highest God — as the receiver of all 

All this is quite the reverse of what Garbe appears to have 
assumed. For here, in fact, it is not a utilization of Hvara 
for the impersonal Brahman that is indicated so much as 
the claim that whoever strives for the goal, while trusting 
in I^vara, thereby knows all, and more indeed than the 
learned Veda scholar or the speculator on the mysteries of 
magical sacrificial power, and more too than he who knows 
"action”, which in this context means, the complicated acts 
t)f ritual. What is intended is : — "Precisely those who simply 
trust in Isvara are the true 'spiritually disciplined’ knowers” ; 
and this is the genuine and typical Bhakti attitude. At the 
same time the words, "at the time of their departure”, 
clearly prepare the way for the succeeding Section on 
Eschatology in viii. 5^. There can be no doubt then 
(to repeat) that viii. 1-4 constitute a pretentious Gloss 
which completely misunderstands the quite simple signifi- 
cance of VII. 29, 30; and it is in any case quite evident that 
the words "who in the last hour” (viii. 5) are most closely 
connected with vii. 30, and express more fully and directly 
the tendency manifest in vv, 29, 30. The writer of this Gloss, 
having failed to understand the ptttport of vii. 29, 30, 
exerts himself in order to interpret the extremely obscure 
vocables previously referred to which were, however, not 
at all in question. No doubt he first of all wrote his own 
construction in the margin of the MS , whence it subse- 



quently invaded the Text. But with this latter they have 
nothing whatever to do, and the writer of the Treatise does 
not trouble himself about them at all, but in viii. 5 continues 
imperturbably the course of his clear exposition, and quite 
evidently with direct reference to vii. 30. 

; (6). I believe too that Garbe was mistaken in bracketing 

VIII. 20-22. As with every theology, the purpose of the 
preceding Section was to discuss Eschatology; and the 
eschaton of the Universe, which is at the same time the 
beginning of its creation anew, was the submergence of all 
(unredeemed) beings into the undeveloped and unmani- 
fested {Avyaktam), or in terms of later Bhakti theology, the 
return to the subtle condition which, in being imperceptible 
by the senses, is in fact such an Avyaktam. It became 
therefore imperatively necessary to assert most positively 
that above this cosmic Avyaktam there existed yet another, 
the supercosmic, subsequently called the BuMha-sattvam?- 
This is a hhava, or state of being, which is similarly imper- 
ceptible to the ordinary mind, and into which those enter 
who are freed from the world and redeemed, who do not 
succumb to simplification into the inferior Avyaktam of the 
rest of the Universe but are eternally exempted from this, 
together with those released from eternity (the nityas). 
Apart from such a restriction the earlier statement in v. 18 
would have been most seriously misleading, so that it 
necessarily pertains to the Eschatology. This bhdva, as a 
supermundane condition, is in fact the “supreme abode” 
of which all Bhakti theology speahs, symbolizing it mytho- 
logically as Vaikuntha (the highest Heaven) ; and in v. ii 
Krishna had expressly promised to speak about such a 
“supreme abode”. Thus v. 22 forms an excellent conclusion 
to all that precedes by definitely asserting that, in going to 
the supreme abode where one will meet Isvara and receive 
existential attributes identical with His own^, one can 
1 cf. p. 73, Note 2. ^ cf. pp. 127, 180. 



attain to the Supreme God only through Bhakti\ all the 
emphasis falls on hhaktyd — on devotion. 

(7). As regards viii. 23-28, however, there is certainly 
room for doubt. For this ancient mythical Eschatology 
of the two ways is as foreign as is possible to the spirit of 
later doctrines of redemption, as it is too to Bhakti teaching; 
but it is at the same time an old constituent of the tradition 
with which the theologians had to deal. In v, 27, in fact, 
an evident attempt is made to dispense with it as far as 
possible, since it asserts that the believer should not allow 
himself to be confused by these two ways; and this most 
probably means that he need not concern himself about 


(S). Chapter IX. 1-6, is an independent interpolation 
from a different source than that of viii. 23-28, as is proved 
by the solemn introductory verse, ix. i, which inaugurates 
a wholly fresh start. Its insertion proves that it is intended 
to assert something of quite peculiar importance, although 
it might at first be taken, especially by a superficial reader, 
to be a mere repetition {anuvdda) of the earlier statements 
in VII. 1-12; and in fact its v, 4. — 'in Me abide all beings, 
but I endure not in them'' — ^is an almost literal quotation 
from VII. 12. On the other hand this repetition, and especi- 
ally the declaration in v. 4, provide the key to the problem 
of its insertion. For the intense other-worldliness, and 
also the distinction between God and the Universe, which 
the author of Treatise VI maintains, thereby approximating 
closely to a dualistic {Dvaita) point of view, is now meant 
to be surpassed by a representative of this latter tendency. 
With this in mind, therefore, he first of all solemnly repeats 
in V. 4 the doctrine which had already been expounded and 

then, in v. 5, he proceeds still further in the direction of a 
Dvaita of God and the Universe: — "Strictly speaking, we 
may not say even that 'things abide in Me', which would 
in any case imply an extremely intimate existential relation 



between God and the Universe. But the correct interpre- 
tation is that things are the pur& product of transcendent, 
miraculous, creative Power. 

‘‘God ‘causes to be', that is to say, He creates, purely and 
simply. This creation is, then, no longer an emanation of 
things from Himself. Rather does God transcend them to 
such a degree that He no longer even dwells in them, nor 
theydii Him." 

All this means that, for this theologian, even the idea of 
the immanence of God in objects becomes questionable; so he 
concludes with v. 6, the meaning of which is quite clear: — 
“If we wish to retain the old saying that things exist in 
God — and how can we wholly eliminate so weighty a 
tradition? — then at the most we can regard things as existing 
in God in the same sense that the air exists in space. Doubt- 
less it exists in space, but it does not consist of space, and 
has nothing essentially in common with it." 

This Section is of gmat interest in showing how early the 
tendency set in, in some Bhakti circles, which because of 
God's transcendence could not remain satisfied with even 
the qualified Monism of a Visishtddvaita, but transferred 
its allegiance to the fully developed Dvaita which, in fact, 
subsequently became formulated as logical and detailed 
systematic doctrine by Madhva, the great deary a (teacher). 

The interpolator of ix. 1-6 was well aware of the impor- 
tance of his own particular standpoint. His cumulative 
expressions — jhdnam vijhdnasahitam, guhyatamam, “most 
secret knowledge and understanding" — on which redemption 
itself depends, together with rdjavidyd, rdjaguhyam, pavi- 
tram uttamam, yogam aisvaram (“royal knowledge," etc.), 
far transcend the assuru.nces in the other Treatise that they 
impart ultimate knowledge, while the polemical exclusive- 
ness, which subsequently characterized the controversial 
exponents of Duality {dvaitavddins), is already visible in 
7;. 3. To him all other doctrines appear impious because it 



is his alone that actually exalts God above all worldly 
Being; and only through the absolute divorce of the Universe 
from God does it become truly subordinated to Him. Solely 
in his own doctrine is the Aisvaryam of God — His "'being 
the Lord’' — ^fully assured; and in this he comes nearest of 
all Hindu theologians to the Occidental idea of God’s 
creativeness. For even in the Visishtadvaita system creation 
always remains "an emanation from Himself”; the Universe 
is therefore a fragment and an alteration {vikdra) of God 
Himself, while He is the substratum within the objects 
emanating from Him.^ Here, however, it runs: — "I am 
He Who causes beings to exist, without I Myself (in substance) 
existing in them”; which means that "they exist through 
Me and by Me, but not out of Me; and My Yoga Aisvam 
(My Power as Lord) consists in My Power not merely "to 
emit’ from what already exists, but by virtue of supernatural 
and miraculous Power to call into being what has not yet 
existed”. As contrasted with Indian tradition, which was 
dn principle emanationist, any such conception was indeed 
a veritable ""secret”, ""most secret” {guhyam and gukyata-^ 
mam): — ^terms which are in this context much more than 
rhetorical pretentiousness, since they confirm the conviction 
of actually saying something that is not generally known, 
but is concealed from the great majority. It is undeniable, 
therefore, that the ultimate impelling motive in the emer- 
gence of dualistic doctrine [Dvaitavdda) was no mere specu- 
lation, but precisely this profound numinous emotion which 
finds its deepest expression in the idea of God as absolutely 
transcending the Universe, and Who, because of His ""being 
the Lord”, must be separated from all worldly Being and 
opposed to it as the ""Wholly Other”. These principles 
are indeed preluded in those ViHshtddva%ta passages which 
emphasize the Lord God’s being elevated far above His own 
Prakriti, which He guides by His own free Will. Neverthe- 

^ cf. vn. 7. 



less they enjoy full liberty of expression for the first time 
in this typical specimen of Yoga' Aisvara and in the con- 
trast of V, 4, never previously sustained, between Bhuta- 
Bhdvana and na hhutastha ; and to this is due the outstanding 
significance of the present interpolation for the History of 

Once this feature of the Section has been recognized, the 
temptation arises to conjecture, in the words rdjavidyd and 
rdjaguhyam, a meaning specifically determined by the 
context. Usually they would both be translated by ' 'royal 
knowledge'' and "royal secret", in the sense of "the highest 
knowledge" and "the most significant secret", just as 
Rdja-Yoga means simply "the king among Yoga forms", or 
"the best Yoga'\ On the other hand raja-dharma, for 
example, means not "the king of all the dharmas'\ but the 
dharma which concerns the king. It may be, accordingly, 
that the two terms rdjavidyd and rdjagnhyam here also 
mean "the knowledge of Me as being the King", and "My 
royal" or "My majestic secret", which would very welb 
agree with the later expression in v, 5 : — "know My Power is 
their Lord". In other words: — "Behold My Power as 
that of the Lord, superior to the Universe, Who can call 
beings into existence without being Himself compelled to 
surrenderdo them the substance of existence, simply because 
He can actually 'create' ", God's royal secret would then 
mean the secret which others do not know — that He is 
actually King of the Universe. For King He is in the 
fullest possible sense, and no mere World-ground, when 
He Himself is not the Universe nor the Universe He, but 
rather when He is absolutely the transcendently creative. 

As to the method adopted, there can once again be dis- 
cerned in this interpolation the intention to give the reader, 
in advance, the "correct" viewpoint from which to consider 
the next Section of the Text: whoever has read vv. 1-6 is 
strongly inclined to interpret what follows in their light. 

The Ongtnal Gita P 



Treatise VI itself, however, by no means advances as 
far as does this interpolation; rather is the tendency, which 
subsequently culminated in Visishtddvaita, first breaking 
ground in it, almost all the basal elements involved being 
either already present here or prepared for. Both the 
psychical and the material worlds are God's ''Natures", 
which pass through the unceasing process of evolution and 
involution; and to this corresponds Ramanuja's doctrine 
about the Deha of God in His being both Cause and 
Effect: — as Kdranam and Kdryam. Beyond this process, 
still further, the higher bhdva appears at this stage as the 
essential attribute of being redeemed, and as such transcend- 
ing the movement of the worlds and untouched by it* Thus 
the relation to the Vedic-Brahmanic tradition is decidedly 
positive, while as a matter of course the Treatise purports 
to rest on a Vedic basis, exalted knowledge of God being 
emphasized and speculatively and methodically developed. 
It may be assumed that the theories of a Bodhayana prob- 
• ably resembled those of this Treatise and that Yamunamuni 
subsequently developed them fully in his Siddhitraya, while 
his disciple Ramanuja perpetuated them in his Bhdshya 
or, in other words, in the Visishtddvaita doctrine itself. 
Garbe was therefore unquestionably wrong in bracketing 
VII. 19: — "Vasudeva is all" — ^since this confession is wholly 
identical with that of the Vihishtadvaita BhakU theologians; 
and had he been asked, the author of the present Treatise 
would undeniably, and as a matter of course, have admitted 
that he was an advaitin. At the same time the specific sense 
which the phrase "Vasudeva is all " assumes in the mouth of 
a visisMadvaitin must also be considered: — ^not here as being 
the expression of any profound feeSng on the part of the 
believer somewhat in the form: "therefore I am God", but 
as the confession of God’s absolute imperishable Majesty 
and Lordship {Mdhdtmyamdm^ Aisvaryam) ; and this includes 
(on the one hand) humility and (on the other) trust. It 



asserts that God is All, while I and everything else whatso- 
ever are consequently nothing more than His sesha — His 
"residue” — ^nothing but what is placed here by Him, from 
Him receiving existence but having no existence of and 
from itself On the other hand, because He is everything 
it is also He Who effects everything, while all comes from 
His Hand, into which whoever confesses that "Vasudeva 
is all” trustfully resigns himself. He was therefore a poet 
of personal Bhakti who later sang: — 

He, the Sublime, is the Being Who fills all things. 

And filled by Him is all that moves on Earth. 

They are all the body and the throne of Vasudeva. 

Again: — 

He Who has coloured the white swans and gaily adorned 
the parrots. 

Given to the peacocks their many-hued splendour, will 
surely provide for me. 

And all this is included in the words: — “Vasudeva is all”. 

Treatise VII: The GIta, ii. gg-iv. 42. Buddhi-Yoga, 
connected with the Worship of Krishna as the Isvara- 
guru (Guru-Bhakti). 

This Treatise, which reaches its obvious culmination in 
the words of its last verse (iv. 42: “Stand up, O Bharata”) 
approximates very closely to the First Part of The Original 
Gita, into which Sankhya elements have been interpolated. 
Its intention is to advance Yoga doctrines, as distinguished 
from the Sankhya which ostensibly preceded in ii. 11-38. 
Actually, however, it is^itself permeated with Sankhya ideas, 
while all the specific elements of technical Yoga are absent. 
It provides therefore no directions whatever regarding the 
technique of Yoga, and the atmosphere of the entire Section 
is as far removed from the lofty and ecstatic experiences of 


the infinite happiness [sukham atyantam) of technical Yoga 
as it is from those of emotional Bhakti. The mood is cool 
and rational, and its problem is not the violent tearing 
apart of the soul from the body and its binding forces, 
which pertains to Yoga, but rather the attainment of inner 
equanimity. Nevertheless Oldenberg was right in main- 
taining that a small Yoga manual has been interpolated 
here. For it expounds a Yoga in the extended and more 
general sense of constantly practised and voluntary inner 
concentration of buddhi, as contrasted with the agitations 
due to the senses and the fetters imposed by sense objects; 
it is, in truth, Buddhi-Yoga, which may be termed Character- 
Yog^ in order to distinguish it from technical Yoga, and 
finds its parallels in Stoicism.^ It too regards intense will 
power in the face of emotions, passiones, and of sensuous 
excitements, as pertaining to fever {jvara) ; while at the same 
time its ideal is the ‘'constancy’’ of huddhi as power of 
insight, but still more as “force of resolution''. The steadfast 
resolve to hold one’s ground collectedly and firmly against 
the inducements of the senses is founded in purified “insight” 
or “knowledge” — ^that of the proper relation between the 
self and the sensuous attractions of the senses [indriyas), 
of being fettered by the latter and of liberation into the 
Brahman condition” of complete tranquillity (samatd). 
At the same time, however, it is a Sa-Isvara-Yoga, and 
recognizes the Lord, but on the other hand contains not one 
single word about redemption through Bhakti, It inculcates 
devotion to Krishna, and finds occasion to expound the 
doctrine of His avatar a. But for it, and again in conformity 
with Sa-Ihvara-Yoga, Krishna the God is essentially the 
ancient guru, who in days of yore t^ght this Buddhi-Yoga, 
and who comes to Earth not so much to save by kindling 
the redeeming Bhakti, but rather to restore righteousness 
{dharma) anew as soon as this falls into decay. The term 

1 cf. p. 128. 



Bhakti is absent, and only once, in iv. 9, is the goal of 
salvation, as mere naishkarmyam or freedom from Karman, 
enhanced by departure to Krishna,^ The author is simul- 
taneously a sdnkhya and a yogin, and has impregnated 
Krishna's original words with Sdnkhya ideas. 

In its First Part this Treatise provides evidence that there 
must have been a Yoga tendency which required, for the 
attainment of sdnti, scarcely — or indeed not at all — the 
technical Karman of Yoga discipline, but aspired to inner 
samatd simply by schooling the self towards freedom from 
'"attachment" to accomplishing works; at the same time, 
however, it regarded this as Brahma-Bhdva, 

Its construction throughout is well ordered and quite 
clear: — 

Buddhi-Yoga, connected with the Worship of Krishna as 
the Isvara-guru, 

(i4). Yoga as Buddhi-Yoga: 

(i) . Praise of the Equanimity- and its advantages 
over Vedism; Yoga action is calm and disinterested. Cen-^ 
sure of Vedic eudemonistic conduct; contrasted with this is 
the wise man, who indeed acts, but with no interest in 
reward, vv. 39-47. 

(ii) . It is therefore a matter of acting, but with serene 
equanimity, which is more important than any action. 
Buddhi-Yoga as the practice of depth of insight and force of 
resolution; this is superior to any consideration for religious 
traditions, 48-53. 

(in). It is identical with prajhd, with samddhi and with 
and consists in having no wishes, in self-composure, in 

1 This does not transgress beyond the frame of a normal Guru- 
Bhakh, similarly God’s ^antivities, in iv. 10-13, do not go beyond 
those of the ** Great Spirit” (pradhdna-dtman) in Sa-Hvara-Yoga, 
cf p. 127. The whole passage is an attempt to give the Krishna 
cult a basis by making Him a God-guru, who was indeed recognized 
by mere Sa-l ivara-Yoga also. 

^ saptenUa, rapture and meditation; cf p. 46. 



freedom from passions such as grief or joy, from desires 
and mental agitation, in indifference to sense objects, 54-59, 

(iv) . The contest between the senses and buddhi] the 
genesis of desires and passions, and of the loss of buddhi, 
60, 61. 

(v) . The peace of soul of the buddhi adept and the attain- 
ment of its permanence. The difference between the wise 
man and the fool. This condition of sdnti is the ''Brahma 
state” and leads to the future goal, 62-72. 

(vi) . Buddhi and Action. If buddhi with its inner com- 
posure is in itself the Highest, and more than all action, 
what then is the use of action? iii. i, 2. 

{a). In any case mere omission of action is not in itself 
the way to naishkarmyam — ^to freedom from Karman, 3, 4. 

(&), Action is a necessity of Nature which no one can 
avoid, 5. 

(c). In the supposed omission of action (by saints of the 
penitential type) there is usually hypocrisy, 6. 

{d). Accomplish therefore the “action that is necessary”, 
8-19 (omitting 9-18). The reasons for this are: — 

(1) . The example of Janaka, and regard for the mainten- 
ance of order which would be disturbed by flight from the 
world, 20, 21. 

(2) . God too cultivates this regard, while the wise man 
takes this as an example, 22-26. 

(5). Sdnkhya insight, according to which the wise man 
conducts himself, 27-29. 

(4). Action cannot harm if one casts it upon God, Who 
prevents its evil consequences, 30-32. (Verses 33-35 are 
marginal Glosses, unconnected with what precedes, and 
self-contained.) ^ 

(vii) . The problem of Evil; 36-43. 

{B), The Connection of Buddhi-Yoga with the Worship 
of Krishna as the divine original Guru; its incoporation as 



(viii). Although Buddhi-Yoga has been forgotten, it still 
has the highest authority, since Krishna Himself taught it 
in primitive times, and Krishna is God, iv. 1-6. 

(ix). (a). The purpose of His awaiara, 7-10. 

(&). Although God is unweariedly active, partly in ful- 
filling man’s wishes (ii, 12), partly in creating and sustain- 
ing the Universe of the three gunas (13), still He effects 
for Himself no Karman, since in this His activity He does 
not aim at the fruit of reward for Himself. Whoever 
recognizes God in this way (and acts as He does), hkewise 
attains freedom from Karman (14, 15). 

(C). (x). Genuine Activity and Non-activity, 16, 17. 

(a). To preserve inner composure in action, and to be 
free from attachment, is true non-activity. On the other 
hand, to be able to effect something while preserving inner 
composure is true activity, 18-22. 

(xi). (6). The fatal consequences of all action are annulled 
by freedom from attachment and by “knowledge”^ which 
possesses the magical power of yajna (sacrifice) and by, 
means of this burns away all action, 23, 33, 34, 36-42^. 

F inally , the concluding phrase d. 42^, “Stand up, O Bharata”, 
clumsily enough links up this Treatise, which itself is com- 
pletely alien to Arjuna’s situation, with the original Text of 
The Gltd. For “completely alien” it is, since Arjuna’s soha 
includes no enquiry about the general relations between 
activity and non-activity, nor did any such theological 
subtleties ever trouble him in his vishdda. Not whether 
“activity” binds, then, but the quite concrete anxiety as to 
whether one may ever destroy worthy masters, and disregard 
sacred bonds of relationship, had aroused his vishdda. 

IV. 23, is usually translated: — “bring his action as a sacri- 
fice”, which is also the interpretation given by the long- 
winded Brahmanic Gloss, vv. 24-32.^ But this is altogether 

1 Thus through a combination of Buddhi-Yoga and Sankhya. 

2 cf. Chapter viii, p. 286. • 



opposed to the meaning of the writer of the Treatise, who 
does not refer here to ''bringing action as a sacrifice'', but 
intends to discuss the jnma-yajna in familiar fashion, as 
V. 33 clearly proves. Thus again v, 23: — "He who is free 
from attachment, who has established his mind in knowledge, 
while he employs" the knowledge "in yajha, all his action is 
annihilated". As v. 33 shows, therefore, there is absolutely 
no question here of "bringing one's action as a sacrifice". 
For not the work, but knowledge, is yajna. Knowledge, 
however, as in m. 36-38, is regarded as a mighty, magi- 
cal pavitram (ceremony of purification), as one means of 
atonement, which is capable of dissolving the fatality of 
the fettering Karma like a caustic alkali and consuming it 
like fire. This idea closely follows the course of the ancient 
notion of the magical power of jndna ; and in that case v. 23 
becomes self-explanatory. The jMna must be applied to 
the yajM ; and then yajna is in no sense whatever conceived 
as a gift to the Deity y but in its magical sense as a self-acting 
or automatic ceremony (pavttram) and as a rich store of 
energy.^ Thus the series of verses — 23, 33, 34, 36-38 — 
exhibits the clearest and most direct interconnection; they 
are firmly and compactly united together, being interrupted 
in the crudest possible way by the Brdhmana-like disquisition 
of 24-32, which actually has nothing whatever to do with 
the matter; and the intention of the interpolator is quite 
bluntly expressed in v. 32, in which he advances a speculative 
theory of sacrifice, and then declares that whoever possesses 
this, together with the knowledge about it, will be redeemed. 
This is in the sound old Brahman tradition, but it is never- 
theless absolutely opposed to what the author of the present 
Treatise maintains and asserts. Mot Vedic knowledge 
about sacrifices, which he unreservedly rejects and ridicules, 
but knowledge about action in repose, and repose in action 

1 For yajnaya acaratas there might quite well be substituted 
pavttraya acaratas. 



combined with the knowledge of Sdnkhya, is for him the 
redeeming pavitmm. Here then, if anywhere, we discern 
the efforts of the ancient theologians of sacrifice to sub- 
stantiate their own beliefs within The Gitd itself; and nothing 
is so foreign to the thoroughly rational style of the writer 
of this Treatise as are the subtleties and secret mongering 
of vv. 24-32; these, together with v. 35, must therefore 
unquestionably be rejected.^ 

Garbe's ascription of vv. 25-30 to the actual writer of this 
Treatise, then, is indefensible, while on the other hand his 
exclusion of v, 34 is without justification, since it is obvious 
that in the concluding Section (C) the author once again 
intends to combine Sdnkhya ideas with those of Yoga] he 
is, in fact, a sdnkhya and a yogin simultaneously, as I have 
already observed. The admonition in v. 34, however, is in 
complete accord with Sdnkhya, and the jndnins and tattva- 
vidas — ^those who know the tattvas — ^in this verse are precisely 
the adepts in Sdnkhya philosophy. 

In conclusion, then, it is beyond dispute that the author, 
of the present Treatise is identical with the writer who, in 
the preceding portion of The Original GUd, interpolated in 
II. 14-19, 21 and 23-28 the same Sdnkhya ideas which he, 
being (to repeat) at the same moment a sdnkhya and a 
yogin, expounds here in in. 27-29. In this way he appro- 
priates the first Section of The Original Gitd, so that in this 
respect we may say that Treatise VII extends from ii. 14 
to its obvious conclusion in iv. 42. 

Treatise VIII: The Gita, x. 12-42. 

In IX. 34, Treatise VI had sounded its unmistakable 
Amen. There, ^ in the'^uise of Arjuna's speech, it had been 
announced to everyone who has ''entered this impermanent 
sorrowful world'' that this proclamation shows the way to 

^ cf. further, p. 286. 

234 the treatises OF THE FIRST PART 

I have already maintained that Chapter X, i-§ is part 
of The Original Gita itself,^ since it constitutes the indis- 
pensable Introduction to the great revelation in XI which 
was, however, manifested not universally to all who desire 
salvation, but only to Arjuna with his specific durgdni 
and the misery of his vishdda. I have also asserted that 
X. 9~ii is in no way concerned with his durgdni, but is on 
the contrary an interpolation of generalized and subhme 
BhaUi doctrine.2 

This brief Section is now succeeded by x. 12-42, preceding 
the depiction of the Theophany; it too contains no reference 
whatever to Arjuna, nor to any soteriological doctrines. 
It is, on the contrary, a glorification which might have 
been composed for any of the higher gods, and which is 
here adapted to Krishna by one of his worshippers. The 
consciousness of God which underlies and sustains it must 
be traced back to a special type of religious experience, 
finding its expression in the Kaushitaki Upanishad 4.® The 
.distinctive features of this Section of this Upanishad, how- 
ever, must not be confused with the magnificent vision of 
unity of Brahman-Atman mysticism, nor again with the 
current doctrine that God is identical with everything or 
that He pervades the Universe; with all such beliefs, in 
fact, this is definitely at variance. The enquiry certainly 
concerns Brahman] but here Brahman means simply the 
very highest object of worship, the supreme and actual 
numen. The cardinal issue, therefore, is not so much that 
behind the plurality of the Universe as such, but rather 
behind the plurality of everything which, in the objects of 
man's environment, stimulates his numinous feeling and 
urges him to worship, there is disco«fered what is unitary. 
One, and absolutely worthy of worship; or in other terms, 
that behind all numina the Absolute numen is found while 

1 Pp 136/, 139, 158 2 On durgam, cf. p. 142. 

® Deussen’s Translation, p. 52. 



on the other hand, everything else which arouses the aware- 
ness of the numinous is conceived as being the radiation 
and hypostasis {vibhuti) of this One, Absolute NumenA 
“Spirits'", or various kinds of numina, are seen “sitting" in 
objects which excite numinous apperception* in sun and 
moon, in lightning and howling storm, in fire and flood, but 
more especially too in such disconcerting phenomena as 
reflections from polished surfaces, the shadow ever accom- 
panying man, puzzling repetitions of the echo, dream 
content, the homunculus visible in the eye, the body with 
its strange vital functions. Balaki, for example, cites all 
these as Brahman — as objects of worship — and thus, in 
fact, he depicts the genuine phantasms of those primary 
impulses of the numinous consciousness which characterize 
all primitive religions. But Ajatasatru, the kshatriya, is 
wiser than the brahman, since he knows the sole, and the 
highest, of all “spirits", from Whom those minor spirits 
all originate and by ^ Whom they are created: they are but 
His manifestations. This idea implies, in the first place; 
that God is the numen in all numinous things; but gradually 
it changes, so that from it there is evolved the notion that 
God is the opUmum in the various classes of objects, as for 
example in The GUa, x. 12 ff. Here the different subdivisions 
of objects are enumerated, and in each God is perennially 
the Highest and the Best. As the last verse expresses 
this: — “Every thing that is powerful, beautiful or potent, 
know that as having originated from one single portion of 
My Power". This idea, then, is nothing less than Advaifa, 
although it is indubitably stated in terms involving person- 
ahty. It carries with it no reference whatever to The Original 
Gita, nor does it accord^with any one of the specific doctrines 
which we have encountered; but what was required was an 
ancient hymn, associated with this trend of ideas, in praise 
of Krishna the God; and this explains its reception here. 

1 cf, X. 18, Note 


With this I reach my own conclusion : the impression that 
The Original GUa exhibits a compact unity must be aban- 
doned; for into its ancient framework a garland of eight 
Treatises of differing tendency has been incorporated, with 
the intention of securing for them the authority of Krishna 
the God. Their characteristic peculiarities, once again, 
must not be effaced by any search for homogeneity, nor 
must the utmost degree of mutual adjustment be attempted. 
On the contrary, the rich multiplicity of Indian experience 
and thought, which is throughout revealed, must be most 
scrupulously investigated. Among the Texts that have in 
this way been accumulated some are quite trivial, but 
others are important and rich in promise; and of them all 
the greatest is The Original GUa itself with the Mahatmyam 
— ^the imperishable Majesty — of its I^vaka. 




Manas: {mens: usually Mind): this means both Thinking 
and The Power of Thought and also, occasionally, man's 
spiritual Being as contrasted with his corporeality. On 
the other hand, it should often be translated by “mental 
tendency" or “disposition", since it may indicate the 
general inner aspirations of humanity, and sometimes 
correspond to heart or soul or spirit, even though “heart", 
if taken at all literally, is too “cordial" and spirit and soul 
too “soulful". In strict technicality, however, manas is 
on the one hand the antithesis of the indriyas, which I have 
rendered by “senses','; but “capacity" or “faculty" would 
be still more correct as signif3dng both the five “capacities" " 
of sense perception together with the five acUve “faculties" 
that are distinguished from these by Hindu Psychology. 
Still further, manas is differentiated from buddhi, which in 
its general sense means knowledge and the “faculty" of 
knowledge, while often enough it is, in a non-technical sense, 
a synonym for manas itself. In its more properly technical 
aspects, again, manas is what is frequently called “inner 
sense", or in other terms the capacity to perceive our own 
psychical states; as such, then, it becomes a “sixth sense", 
in addition to the five faculties for sense perception; and 
yet further, the power of interrelating and combining sense 
perceptions and of diStriminating those which constitute 
apperception. But at this stage manas transfers its own 
content to huddhi, so that this alone is the highest level of 
intellect which at one and the same moment judges and 
induces resolution. Simultaneously with this, huddhi is 



itself the capacity for weal and woe, and hence our vis 
aesUmativa — ^the axiological “faculty” or “capacity for 
value”. This distinction between manas and buddhi, again, 
bears a distant resemblance to that of Kant between 
Verstand and Vernunft, or to Coleridge’s differentiation of 
Understanding from Reason — and hence the use of these 
two terms as equivalents for the German. But it is still 
more important that buddhi, as the capacity for feeling and 
the power of resolution, decidedly approximates to the 
significance of “disposition”, intention or sentiment. Thus 
acald buddhih is the mood of imperturbable equanimity, 
while Buddht-Yoga can scarcely be rendered otherwise than 
by “discipline in moods” or in dispositions. 

Another term — cittam — ^has almost the same meaning as 
manas; but here the difference probably is that manas 
means rather the organ of thinking, while cittam is pre- 
dominantly the content of thought. 

To be distinguished, still further, from the senses, under- 
.standing and reason is the jhdna of the dtman itself. To- 
gether with the body, the former pertain to the sphere of 
jada — of the dull or apathetic, the heavy or stifling. Their 
products, that is to say, in and of themselves, are not 
knowledge ; they only become knowledge because they exist 
for the dtman, while this “illuminates” them with its jhdna, 
which itself is regarded as a radiant Ught. 

Throughout The Gitd, however, the use of terms is 
extremely loose and variable. Sometimes it definitely 
approximates to technical distinctions, while at others it 
simply follows ordinary usage with its by no means strict 
discriminations. It is impossible, therefore, to render 
words such as manas and buddhi •‘hy the same English 
equivalents in every passage without exception; and since 
this is equally true of Yoga I have occasionally been com- 
pelled to repeat the Sanskrit term itself. 

Buddhi-Yoga, to continue, as- the strictly methodical 



exercise of power of judgment and of resolution, directed 
to the acquisition of inner constancy and of superiority to 
the play of mere motives, constitutes hhavana} the '‘develop- 
ment'’ or “cultivation" or “organization" of the inner 
spiritual being; and thus it approaches the idea of striving 
after a definitely moulded character, so that in this sense 
we may quite well speak of Character- that is of a 
Yoga not at all concerned with mystical experiences, but as 
selecting for its goal precisely this hhavana itself with its 
internal or esoteric superiority, its freedom from motives 
and its independence, together with its resultant seremtas 
of inner peace of the soul. 


(1). Narasimha. 

{2). The type of the religion of the gopas, 

{a). The vassals of Krishna. 

(i). What they regarded as sacred: — daivatam, 

(c) . Krishna's sermon. 

(d) , “Power" as the Mountain-god. 

(j). The idea of Vishnu. 

(a), Vishnu as pervading “Power". 

( 5 ). Vishnu and Brahman, 

{4), Vasudeva. 

{a). The root ms. 

(5). Narayana. 

{a), nara and Nara. 

{b ) . narayana: its first interpretation. 

(c). narayana: ife second interpretation. The god 
of Autumn, 

{d). The roots of later TAiishudi-Bhakti. 

(e) . Baladeva. 

1 J/. p. 283. 



(/). Western Aryan parallels. 

{g). The assimilation of the fairy tale of the Far- 
striding Dwarf. 

{h). Satapatha Brdhmana, xn. 6, i 

(6). The correction of my Title. 

The great World-god Vishnu is at a later stage identified 
with Narayana and with Vasudeva. From what root has 
this idea of the god developed? How is Vishnu related to 
Vasudeva and to Narayana, and how is their identification 
to be explained? 

(i). Narasimha 

We find Vishnu to be familiar to the Hymn Anthology 
of the Vedas, But it is obvious that here he is a god who 
made his way in from realms other than the originally Vedic, 
and was assimilated gradually; as Upa-Indra^ — as a sub- 
ordinate Indra — he was admitted with some degree of 
hesitation, while Narayana and Vasudeva still remain 
« unknown. 

One of the oldest passages in which the two latter appear, 
as quite evidently united with Vishnu, is the great Litany 
of the gods in Taittinya Ar any aka, x. Verse i, 6, runs: — 

'To Narayana we bring worship, to Vasudeva our medi- 
tations; and in this may Vishnu assist us''. 
Immediately upon this there follows a parallel veneration 
of the "Diamond Clawed One", and the "Sharp Toothed", 
both of whom here are Narasimha. To this Narasimha, 
however, a specific formula of worship is offered; here, then, 
he is not yet simply identical with Vishnu. But, quite 
clearly, he is now regarded as falling within a class of gods 
similar to Vishnu-Narayana-Vasucitva — ^that is as a being 
who is related and pertains to them, since it is plain that 
the entire Litany groups the individual gods' names together 
from the viewpoint of the relationship subsisting between 
1 i:/ Chapter viuf p. 280. 



those who bear them. At a still later phase, again, Nara- 
simha is attracted and absorbed by Vishmi, thus becoming 
an avatdra of the greater divine form, who had for long 
been admitted into the group of deities. But that originally, 
and indeed for some considerable time, he had had his own 
circle of worshippers in which, as Narasimha, he was the 
great god, is proved by the still extant Narisimha Upani- 
shads} On the other hand his subsequent identification 
with Vishnu, rather than with Rudra, was definitely due to 
his having originally belonged not to the Rudra, but to the 
Vishnu type. 

I have discussed this particular type of god more fully in 
my Gottheit und Gottheiten der alien ArierP Its general 
character is specifically recognizable in connection with the 
narastmha, owing to the fortunate circumstance that asser- 
tions about it, in very primitive terms, are to be found in 
Section VI of The Brihad-Jabdla Upamshadp and this 
passage provides a, quite definite starting-point for our 
general discussion. 

To begin with, then, the narasimha to which in this 
narrative the brahman Karuna goes is a tree on the river 
bank; or still more correctly, the numen immanent in this 
tree as a potent power, because of which the tree is at once 
revered and feared. Now the root of this notion of the god 
is the idea of Power” — ^the concept of magical power — 
which lies concealed in certain Outstandingly significant 
natural objects, which pervades and fills them, which as 
numinous Power adheres and is bound to them, and yet at 
the same moment, personified as a nara, or a spirit, residing 
in the object, can be worshipped. And the essential 
characteristic of such 'U cult, and also of such a being — ^in 
this respect quite distinct from the Rudra type — ^is the 
immanent unity between this powerful being and its medium 

1 cf Deussen's Translation, pp. 753 ff. ^ Pp. 83 jy. 

® In The Sawa Upamshads^, edited by A M. Sastri, Madras, 1925. 

The 0ng%nal Gita Q 



or bearer. For it is in unity with its bearer that it is wor- 
shipped — ^worshipped at once in and with its medium 
simultaneously. Whoever injures the latter, therefore, at 
the same time violates the very numen which is borne by 
and contained within it, which permeates and fills it and 
subsists with it in the unity of its being.^ 

It is then from some such primitive idea of immanent 
numinous 'Tower”, at first bound to some medium, or 
"bearer”, of the Power, that the idea of Vishnu itself appears 
to me to have originated; and quite similarly, the idea of 
Narayana, and perhaps of Vasudeva also. And this rela- 
tionship in their type seems to me to be the reason why they 
merge with each other and finally become synonyms of one 
and the same great god. 

{2). The religion of the go^diS 

{a). The vassals of Krishna. When both Duryodhana 
•and Arjuna turn to Krishna, to invoke his aid in their 
mutual strife, Krishna gives his vassals to Duryodhana, but 
to Arjuna he imparts himself.^ These his vassals are else- 
where called hhojas, andhakas and vrishnis — terms which 
are, however, simply the names of tribes or clans. But 
strange to say, Krishna here characterizes them by the 
names ''gopas*' and '‘ndrdyanas”^ : — expressions which cannot 
be clan names; rather do they designate the vrishnis, etc,, 
in a different way. Krishna’s vrishnis, that is to say, are 
on the one hand gopas, and on the other ndrdyanas. Both 
terms are evidently intended to indicate something specific 

1 The logic of this concept of Immaneiipe is evident in The Gltd, 
XI. 40: — “The All pervading, the All therefore art Thou*'. 

^ Udyogaparvan, vi. 147. 

® of, also Dronaparvan, Chapter 27, where the gopalas and the 
ndrdyanas unite m the common cause, exactly as Krishna’s two 
clans do; cf, further Karnaparvan, ^3, v, 2564 on the military 
capacity of the ndrdyanas. 



and peculiar, so as to distinguish the vrishnis as typical 
and distinct from other warriors. The actual fact is that, 
in contrast to the other troops assembled at the Kuru 
battle, they are simple and homely ''cattle herders'" or, in 
other words, they are tribes leading a semi-nomadic exis- 
tence; and yet further, they differ culturally, and this too 
specifically, from the others. 

Now these two features are encountered, and in a similar 
context, as characteristic of the vrishnis in The Harivamsa, 
Chapters 72 ff., where we are at the same time more clearly 
informed than in the previous passage what they both 
mean. For we now meet with a definite consciousness of 
an unmistakable and at the same moment highly valued 
peculiarity that is equally social and cultural, and is proudly 
presented as in explicit contrast with alien types, the two 
aspects being most intimately connected with one another. 
Thus Krishna appears here as the representative and 
defender of the ancient pastoral organization and its 
mode of existence against the intrusive agricultural 
social order, and so at the same time as the representative 
and the ardent champion of a primitive cult and of the old 
tribal gods, 

(&). What they regarded as sacred: — daivatam. Chapter 
72 of The Harivamsa relates the desire of some members 
of his tribe to set about celebrating a festival in honour of 
the foreign god Indra. In the succeeding Chapter, however, 
Krishna appears as passionately protesting against this: 
"We are herdsmen", he insists, "roaming about in the 
woods, we live upon the products of our cattle. Let the 
tillers of the fields and the travelling merchantmen carry on 
their own affairs in their own way; let them serve their own 
gods. Our craft is cattle breeding. To us, cows, forests 
and mountains are sacred {daivatam) T He goes on to 
demand that a festival be celebrated in honour of their own 
deities, instead of Indra,* according to ancient traditional 



usage; the festival, that is to say, of the autumnal lustration 
(mrdnjana) of the cows which, after the period of long 
Summer drought and the months of the rainy season, 
during which they had to remain in their pens, are now going 
out again to the open pastures of wood and mountain 
meadows, so that they need ritual purification there, and 
at the same time to be filled with new "power”. And 
simultaneously this lustration festival is the sacrificial feast 
for the numina which possess and dispense such “power” : — 
for the numina of the “mountains”, bearing on their slopes 
wood, meadow and pasture land and filling them with 
their vital power; “For these are our refuge”. 

This worship of mountains by the gopas, in the next 
place, is of a peculiar type; for the mountain is not revered 
on account of its sublime impressiveness but, as the entire 
context clearly shows, avowedly because it is a “power 
bearer” — ^because, exactly like a naras%m'ha tree, it is filled 
by numinous power which emanates from it and penetrates 
the woods and trees, the meadows, grass and cows,’- while 
filling and permeating itself too and constituting, in fact, 
its essential natme to such a degree that the “mountains” 
themselves, in the most marvellous way, become a kind of 
spiritual being : spiritual beings which are on the one hand 
fast bound to their bearers and are indeed identical with 
these, so that they themselves are still called "mountains”, 
yet which on the other hand are distinguishable from the 
material heights and can adopt a different form and figure 
and then, under such a form, roam about as terrifying 
apparitions “on their own mountain ridges”. For all such 
interrelations as these the term deha — “body” — is quite 
inadequate. Certainly its proper “l50dy” is the mountain 
as this exists in Nature; but on the other hand this “power” 
residing in the mount can, whenever it wishes, and by means 

1 This is proved by its name : — go-vardhana — ‘ '-what causes the cows 
to grow and increase”. ' 



of its Mdyd, its power of transforraation, manifest itself in 
a different form [rupa) and with another body [deha). 

My own conjecture, therefore, is that numina of this kind 
were at one period called naras and vishnavas, while 
from these naras and vishnavas the great god Nara and 
Vishnu has arisen; and the Chapters previously cited 
from The Harivamka appear to me to substantiate this 

(c). Krishna's sermon. In Chapter 73, 3812, Krishna 
says : — 

“. . . the mountains are our unfailing refuge". 

Then he proceeds to describe these '"mountains" and to do 
so, indeed, in terms of the ancient Sruti or ancient ancestral 
tradition : — 

"The old tale [Sruyante) relates how the "mountains', 
assuming different forms at will, can roam about in this 
forest on their own mountain ridges, now under this guise 
and again in another. Perchance they become long-maned^ 
lions [cf. nraasimha) or tigers with extraordinary claws [cf. 
the "diamond clawed'), and so they protect their woods by 
terrifying the woodcutters.^ 

^ ** Their woods'’: the woods belong to them, that is to say, and 
the same fruitful power that lives in the mountains lives also in the 
woods and trees, it is called vananam lakshmi. To this power, and 
likewise to its acquisition, there is a reference whenever anyone, as 
for example Sankarshana, roams ecstatically in the forests clad in 
‘Vood garb", or clothes made of leaves and blossoms, which are 
decked with tree-lakshmi, and when, even to-day, Narayana's 
fetish images wear the ''wood wreath" around their necks, and 
again in the words from TaitUriya Samhita, v. 2, 8, — "trees are 
united to Vishnu". The lakshmi of trees, then, is their ayu, their 
life or life-force. Thus m^^arnaparvan, 7, v. 200, we find the tribe 
of the Vanayu mentioned: — ^perhaps a theophoric name for wood 
dwellers who are at the same time worshippers of trees and of the 
numinous power immanent in these, while as the magical power in 
the cows it is called $yI In Anu^asanaparvan, 82, still further, it 
is personified, an intriguing atHon being given in this passage why 
this "power" is especially "loc'l-ted" in cows' urine and dung. Hence 



"Tor whenever those who dwell on the bearers of the woods 
— ^that is, on the mountains — ^set to work to injure the trees, 
they slay such miscreants, whose crime is that of cannibals.^ 

"'Brahmans may perform their mantra sacrifice (that is the 
sacrifice according to the Vedas), the husbandmen may 
sacrifice to the furrow — ^but we herdsmen sacrifice to 'moun- 
tains'. For us the mountain with its forest is worthy of 

"This, meseems, it is right to do. Therefore, 0 Herdsmen, 
let the mountain sacrifice now be celebrated. 

"Let the fortune-bringing sacrificial actions be performed 
at (or in) the sthdna, to the tree or to the mountain.® 

"There shall the beasts fit for sacrifice be slain, they — ^the 
slain' — ^being scattered about on a beautiful dyatana''^ 

the woods became enchanted woods, absolutely immune to that 
insolent intruder, the feller of the trees. 

1 Injury to a tree filled with numinous power is worse than mere 
murder; it is equivalent to the “man-eater’s” conduct — paurusMda 

• 2 Here culture is opposed to culture, and religion to religion, with 

all the emphasis of a prophet of his own religion. 

® Tree and mountain are “power receptacles”, and probably 
sthana is to be understood in this sense too; the term itself means 
“stand” or “station” and also, explicitly, “receptacle” in which 
something is contained. It may be, therefore, that such natural 
fetishes are meant as certain specified boulders from the holy moun- 
tain, fetish stones like the ialagrama stone (a sacred black stone), 
or perhaps even artistic fetishes that were regarded as impersonations 
of the “power”. In any case, there pertains to this cult not simply 
the mountain cult alone, but still more generally a cult of “power” 
bearers such as trees, of which the essential characteristic, as distinct 
from that of the Vedas, is that the sacrifice to the numen is ofiered 
to an object which, as being its container, represents the numen 
and is thought of as being permeated by it. On the other hand the 
meaning of sthana may have been “the«cows’ locality” — ^the cow- 
house ; and to this may be traced the primitive origin of the custom 
which demands that Krishna’s birth, even to-day, must be celebrated 
m a chamber arranged like a cowshed. 

^ Site. Probably, therefore, specially decorated cult localities 
belong to this cult. ^ 


And now an additional requirement is advanced — ^the 
cows, laden with autumnal flowers, must circumambulate 
the mountain, so that they can then be led into the woods 
to new pasture. For 

'"Now delightful Autumn has set in, when the downpour 
from the clouds” (the preceding rainy season) 'hs over, 
bringing sweet juicy grass for the cows.” 

Whereupon there follows a colourful and extremely vivid 
description of the newly awakened life force, springing up 
afresh and stirring in wood and field, in river and sea, in 
plant and animal and man. This delineation is not merely 
a beautiful jewel of bucolic lyricism, but is intended to 
arouse in the hearer some understanding of what will finally 
be the consummation and climax of the whole affair. This, 
however, will arise at a later stage of our discussion. Let 
us first of all pursue the more elementary path of the 
simpler ''power” idea, 

{d), "Power” as the Mountain-god. In his appeal to* 
ancestral customs and religion Krishna succeeds : the 
intrusive Indra is rejected, and the mountain sacrifice and 
the lustration procession of the cows duly carried out. In 
this way the legend identifies Krishna himself with the 
mountain — a later retouching which can readily be analysed 
in such a way as to permit the original ideas to be recog- 
nized anew. At the conclusion of the sacrifice, again, 
Krishna appears "in mountain form”, and yet standing at 
the same time on its summit. But, as v, 3890 plainly 
shows, it is, actually, rather the "mountain” itself which, 
standing on its own base, manifests his epiphany to the 
herdsmen in a special iDody [deha]. It repeats and substan- 
tiates what Krishna has already said in his exhortation, and 
this too in a voice issuing "from the interior of the height” 
(although at that very moment the speaker stands on the 



peak), that he and he alone is to be worshipped by the 
herdsmen . — 

‘Trom henceforth shall ye sacrifice to me alone, if ye 
care aught for your cows. I am your most high god, who 
graciously fulfils your desires."' 

The sacrifice then concludes with processions and merry 
games which the god stays to watch, while at its close 

'The 'mountain' with this body" (that is the body that 
it had assumed by Mdyd in order to appear on high on the 
summit) "again became invisible." 

(5). The idea of Vishnu 

[a), Vishnu as pervading "Power". Spirits of this kind 
which, as numinous "powers" and potencies, semi-identical 
with their bearers and worshipped in and together with 
these, abide in mountain, rock, tree, etc., are quite different 
in type from spirits which, like the rudras, have arisen from 
impressions of the awful, or the ternble, in places and events.^ 
For they have a concrete bearer or medium, their ddhdra, 
which as numinous power they pervade, being still further 
semi-identical with these in virtue of their immanence ; they 
are, in fact, immanent spirits. Now one name for "spirits" 
in general was nara or furusha, and in this way spirits 
falling within this class also came to be called naras or 
punishas. But I should suppose that, when they were 
considered individually, they were given the appellation of 
vishnus. This appears to me to be indicated (a) by the 
specific character of the developed idea of the great Vishnu: 
and (P) by the etymon vishnu itself. 

(a). The great Vishnu has always been apprehended as 
the great ‘'Pervade/' : thus in Narisimha-pilrva-tapamya, 
2, 4:-— 

^ On the characteristics of the rudra type cf my GoUheit und 
Gottheiten dev alien Aner, pp. 16-50. • 



"'Why the expression 'mahd-vishnu' ? (Because it is he) 
who pervades all the worlds, and by them causes himself 
to be permeated, just as oil in the lumps of sesame dough, 
that are mixed and kneaded and soaked with it, is reciprocally 
permeated by them and causes them to be pervaded by 

This, though on a larger scale, is identical with what holds 
good for the small iite-narasimhas as for the spirits which 
pervade the ''mountain'’, yet can nevertheless inhabit and 
haunt their "own mountain ridges", exactly as the great 
Vishnu can exist over and beyond the Universe. Owing to 
this capacity for pervasion Vishnu, as I have previously 
asserted in my GoUheit und Gottheiten, is especially the god 
of the avatdras and the dvesas ("enterings"), the god present 
in natural and artificial areas (images), to be worshipped 
with and in them, the god of sacred black {sdlagrdma) 
stones, tulasi plants and other fetishes. And finally, the 
etymon vishnu itself seems to me to point to this, his principal 
attribute of immanent power. 

(j8). In the Brihad-devatd, ii. 69, the term vishnu is traced 
to the root vish, vis, or vevish, all three of which mean 
"permeation"; but here vis must be excluded on account of 
the s, while in Apte’s Dictionary vish appears in the sense of 
permeation. The Ahirhudhnya Samhitd, 52, 39, too, traces 
vishnu to the same root vish. In The Mahdhhdrata, on the 
other hand, vishnu frequently occurs together with victorious 
{jishnu), as well with enduring {sahishnu) and radiant 
[hhrdjishnu) {Harivam^a, 2503); and this indicates a com- 
pound of vi with the termination snu,^ the latter derivation 
having been accepted by Oldenberg in preference to his 
previous interpretationbased on vi-sanu] vi means "separate, 
apart, asunder"; and Oldenberg therefore assumed that 

1 Deussen. 

2 Whicli IS also found, e.g., m sihasnu, canshnu {Dronaparvan, 



vishnu is to be understood as '"he who extends himself far 
asunder'' and believed that the idea of Vishnu arose from 
the impression of the extension of Space which, being experi- 
enced as divine, became deified in Vishnu. This view, 
however, seems to me to attribute far too much to primitive 
experience; surely such abstract entities as these can hardly 
have been represented by the extremely concrete image of 
a vishnu. 

Now vi also means ‘Tight through something", as in the 
word vibhu: — all-pervading. A vishnu, therefore, would 
not be “one who extends himself afar", but rather “one 
who extends himself through anything", and in this sense 
a permeator or pervader, a vyapin, as in fact Vishnu is 
invariably styled. But this is precisely the essential 
characteristic of these powers and potencies with which 
we are at present concerned. Such powers could scarcely 
have been more pertinently and happily designated than 
by the word vishnu as employed in this sense, so that the 
name Vishnu originates neither from speculative ideas 
about the Universe nor from any extremely abstract notions, 
but from one of the most primitive, and at the same time 
very general, of all ancient religious ideas : — from the widely 
disseminated image, that is to say, of a “power" numen 
which is located in certain objects and fills and permeates 
these. Assuredly the acala-s^rdt of the preceding legend, 
and the tree-spirit narasimha, are still remote from the idea 
of Vishnu, the great divine power which, as the inner vital 
principle and internal controller, pervades the Universe 
just as “oil permeates the cake"; with regard to their 
object and their sphere, nevertheless, they are vibhu, vydpin, 
vishnu — ^they are, in other words, permeators. Exactly as 
the great World-Vishnu has the Universe for his “body", 
they too have their medium or bearer for their body, their 
container, their receptacle; and just as there exists a relation 
of existential connection betweeu Vishnu and the Universe, 



similarly in their case between themselves and their object. 
On the other hand, however, precisely as Vishnu is not 
identical with the Universe but transcends it, so likewise is 
it with these vishnavas on a limited and primitive scale. 

Thus many of the names appearing in the Vishnu Litanies 
still point back to this primitive sphere of immanent 
numinous powers and their associated bearers. To some 
extent they can all be writ large, and then they denote 
relations pertaining to the god and to the Universe, while 
on the small scale they can signify wholly primitive relations 
of immanence between numinous powers and their bearers. 

The lists of names of Vishnu, still further, are instructive. 
Some of these — Ujas, tap as, ojas, sahas (strength, power), 
etc , — are literally simple synonyms of the numinously 
magical power itself quite apart from any personification. 
Others again — yasodhara, urjaspati, (preserving glory and 
maintaining strength) — denote the power bearer or medium; 
and with these must be included kri-pati, lakshrm-pati, 
krl-nivdsa, lakshmi-nivdsa,^ or simply nivdsa and adhdra 
(bearer or medium). In others, still further, the fetishist 
bearer, which immanently conceals the numen, appears as a 
name for a numen as such: vanaspati, nyagrodha, udumbara, 
asvattha,‘^ aushadha,^ A sri-vriksha is in the first place, 
then, simply a tree that contains sri — ^the numinous healing 
power: subsequently it becomes the god’s name. Similarly 
a vishnu-satla, to begin with, was undoubtedly nothing but 
a rock penetrated and possessed by a vishnu; while in 
Harivamsa 2403 the term is likewise a name of the god 

1 Sustaining numinous healing power, and fortune; the abode of 
this power and fortune 

2 Species of fig-tree. ^ 

® A herb. The appellation vztva-vnksha is most instructive — 

Universe tree", as in Ndrada Pdncamtm, iv 2, 81; %n nuce, this 
contains a complete History of Religion. At first the numen was, 
like the namsimha, a tree. When it expands into the numen of the 
Universe, there emerges the "Universe tree". 



himself; and thus also with rock and mountain {adri, gtfi)y 
gmrupin, sdlagrdma and sdlarupin,'^ exactly as in the 
assignment of animals' names to the numen — vydla (tiger), 
lion and swan, ape and serpent: we are at once reminded 
of the wild animals in the guise of which the ''mountains'' 
could appear. In such a connection, still further, an 
epithet such as kausika — ^located in a kosa or container — ^is 
readily intelligible, while either the "power", or the possessor 
of "power", is also denoted by the expression sat-nivdsa. 
Here, however, it may be seriously questioned whether 
sat-nivdsa had not, originally, the quite concrete denotation 
of some external, material, numinously magical object such 
as a magical or spirit-tree, a thing, in which sat resides. 
In any case, sat-mvdsa originated first of all in no lofty 
speculative sphere, but is indubitably a very ancient term 
that pertains to the realm of these primitive magical notions. 
For sat here is synonymous with asu and springs from 
exactly the same root; like asu, therefore, sat is precisely 
that magically conceived power which bestows life and 
strength, growth, bhuti (prosperity) and increase: — exis- 
tence, in fact, as well-being. Ultimately, then, this also 
becomes the meaning of the word as it occurs in sdtvata: 
if to bhdgavata there pertains a bhagavat, just so to sdtvata 
a satvat; and if bhdgavatas are worshippers of a bhagavat, 
then sdtvatas are devotees of a satvat, that is to say, of some 
possessor of sat. Thus it need arouse no surprise to find 
the sdtvatas falling within the ambit under discussion; no 
name could be more suitable for the relevant notion of 
spirits and gods. A Satvat is the exalted World-God 
Vishnu, who bears within himself the sat of the Universe. 
But a satvat is likewise a govardhma who imparts asu to 
the cows and to men and causes them to thrive.^ 

^ Mountain-shaped; sacred black (stone) and sacred form. 

2 For the meaning of govafdhana cf. p. 244, n. i. That the idea 
of Vishnu arose from that of impersonal Power is quite evident from 



^5(6). Vishnu and Brahman. Thus it is easily intelligible 
that the idea of Brahman attracted to itself that of Vishnu 
and became amalgamated with it; both alike, in fact, are 
ideas about 'Tower’', Brahman being the hidden "Power”, 
first of all in the sacrifice, then in all the numinous phe- 
nomena of the Universe, and ultimately in the whole 
Universe in general. The idea of Vishnu, therefore, could 
become merged and identified with the concept of Brahman 
much more readily than could, for example, that of Rudra. 

And what we have previously "heard” about the "spirit”, 
which is (properly speaking) the spirit of the mountain, but 
which can at the same time appear also in "whatever form 
it will”, especially in that of wild animals living on it, also 
throws light on the remarkable passage in The Rig Veda, 
I. 154, 2: — "Vishnu, who lives in the mountains like the 
terrible roving wild beast”. Exactly so has our Text told 
us that these mountain spirits, assuming whatever guise 
they wished, "roam about on their own mountain ridges 
as lions and tigers”. 

{4). Vdsudeva 

(a). The root vas. Vishnu (to continue) becomes Vasu- 
deva. That the latter name is not a patronymic of Vishnu 
but that, on the contrary, it is the name of Krishna’s father 
was a conclusion first of all arrived at on etymological 
grounds from Krishna’s appellation, Vasudeva, as was 
shown by Bhandarkar and Jacobi. The actual name of 
Krishna’s father was Anakadundubhi.^ What then can 

the passage: Taittiriya Ar any aka, v. i, 2, in which the devas hold 
a sacrificial celebration in order to acquire magic power — rtddhi- 
partmitam yaias kamds : — 'Their sacrifice obtains the vatshnavam 
yaias'\ Then this yaias (of Vishnu) escapes and the gods hasten 
after it to subdue it to their own power. At the same time this 
passage shows how such impersonal Power immediately becomes 
personified, since m the words that follow it is a “he'' who, as a single 
individual, resists the crowd. ** ^ Harivamia, vv. 1924, 9040. 



Vasudeva have denoted originally, and what is the explana- 
tion of its being S3monymous with Vishnu? 

It appears to me that, at first, a mshnu was ''power'' 
immanent in some object — '^immanent" implying "indwell- 
ing" or "abiding" in something. But to dwell or reside in 
anything is termed vas] from which we obtain vdsa — 
dwelling, the stem vowel here having been given the guna 
gradation, whence vdsu must mean a dweller. In fact, 
therefore, a vdsu-deva is simply synonymous with vishnu: 
both alike mean, first of all, indwelling, permeating power 
or potency. The word vdsu, however, also appears in 
isolation as a designation for Krishna;^ and a vasudeva is 
merely the expanded form of this — a resident spirit. Thus 
The Ahirhudhnya Samhitd, p. 550, v, 65 : — 

"Because the Universe is immanent in him and because 

he is immanent in the Universe: that is the meaning of 


By utilizing the root vas, then, we trace the etymology of 
vdsu as the immanent, indwelling Being, ^ and the fact that 
the universal god, immanent in the Universe, is also thereby 
straightway brought to mind is the outcome of a later 
theology; nonetheless the original sense of vas and vdsu is 
retained, while further insight into the primitive intuition 
which underlies a vas of this type is provided by another 
passage from The Harivamsa, in which Krishna bestows on 
the mountain Paripatra gifts of grace with the words^: — 

" 'Underneath thee — ^that is in the subterranean region 
Shatpura — ^great devils dwell {nivasanti). These have been 
overcome by me ; henceforth they shall nevermore come out 
from thee, having been overwhelmied by me. After the way 

^ cf. Apte, Dictionary, sub vasu. 

2 cf, Udyogaparvan, 2561: vaianat sarvahhutdndm. Vasudevas 
tato vedyah; (within all beings. Thus Vasudeva is to be known). 

3 7610 jy. 



of escape has been closed to them, at my command they 
shall perish. And (in their place) I myself, 0 Great Moun- 
tain, shall he concealed in thee [tvayi sannihita). The lord 
over those terrible ones, I shall dwell in thee {nivatsydmi); 
and whosoever, filled with Bhakti, has an image made from 
thy stones (of the numen) and will serve me, shall find his 
way to me.' And henceforth from that hour the divine 
lord (Krishna) Acyuta was hidden in the mountain, and 
they make an image from (the mountain) stones and serve 
him, with self-restraint and yearning for the world of 

The parallel with what happens in the case of Mount 
Govardhana is perfectly obvious; for here too the Krishna 
cult is identified with that of an ancient mountain numen, 
immanent therein, and worshipped in fetishes made of its 
stones {sthdna})\ further, the relation between this numen 
and the mountain and the fetishes is expressed by the 
root vas. 

An additional reference may be relevant; when the 
Sagarids^ dig down to the depths of the Earth in their search 
for their father's sacrificial horse which has escaped, they 
encounter a ''kapila”’^ deep in the Earth's interior — a 
frightful being which burns them to ashes, evidently because 
they have insolently violated its own dwelling-place. This 
being, continues the narrator, “has been called vdsudeva” ; 
and to his mind, presumably, this vdsudeva is forthwith 
identical with the great World-god Vasudeva, immanent 
in the entire Universe. But we may readily conjecture 
that, originally, simply the vdsu of this place, the spirit 
immanent in the Earth's interior and “residing" there, was 
intended, who is himself injured when his deha is violated, 

1 Vanaparvan, 8880. 

2 But of course this kapila cannot be a rish%, as the narrator 
appears to assume; originally it doubtless denoted a ghostly spirit- 
being, something like a bahhyuJ^ 



(5). Nardyana 

It is undeniable that nardyana is in some way connected 
with nara, and in the Epic Nara and Narayana are closely 
associated as two intimately related divine beings.^ Foreign 
to the Vedic circle though they are, an attempt is made to 
affiliate them to this system with the help of the dogmatic 
methods then available; they are either declared to be 
puYve devds, or ancient gods,^ or they are transformed 
into ancient rishis. In their own proper homeland, how- 
ever, they were the greatest names of gods;^ what then is 
their meaning, and how is nara related to nardyana ? 

{a), nara and Nara: nara, to begin with, means man. 
But I believe that I have shown elsewhere that, in mytho- 
logical Texts, nara is not to be simply translated by '"man” f 
and here we are concerned with ''men'' of a quite peculiar 
type. For the "man" who resides in the Sun or the ether, 
in fire and the moon, in the eye, the heart, the echo and the 
shadow, etc,, is not a man but a "spirit", and at a still 
higher stage a god. Thus narasimha does not mean a 
"man-lion" but a "spirit-lion". He is a nara, a "resident 
spirit" immanent in the tree, equivalent to a vdsndeva who 

1 In the frequent formulas for worship at the beginning of the 
Sections, Nara and Narayana are evidently thought of as bemg of 
one nature; of. Udyogaparvan, 1937: Narayano Narai ca eva sattvam 
eham, dvidha hritam. — ^Narayana and Nara are verily one bemg, 
twofold made. 

2 e g. Dronaparvan, 9480: purvadevdndm paramdn: — ^the highest 
of the former gods. 

® GoUhett und Gottheiten, p. 29. Although the ‘'kimnaras, gandhar- 
vas and naras'* are grouped together in The Mahdbhdrata, 396, still 
these naras are not men but spirits; and though we find, in Drona- 
parvan, 9507, ‘*viiveivaram viivanaranf^ both together, again it is 
not a “Universal man” that is meant, but Nara — ^the god of the 
Universe. Finally, in ^dnhparvan, 280, v, 10 076, Nara appears as 
the great god of a specific group of worshippers who are placed by 
the side of the devotees of Mahadeva and of Vishnu, of Brahman 
and others. 



as a kdmafupin (like the immanent mountain spirits already 
alluded to) can rush out from his sthdna in the terrible 
form {rupa) of a lion. Out of the general circle of naras, 
however, arises Nara, exactly as does Rudra from the 
group of rudras, and Vishnu from that of the vishnavas; 
Nara, then, is the high god. He appears in theophoric 
names such as, e,g., in Naradatta, which is synonymous 
with Devadatta and, like the latter, means Theodore; 
similarly with Naragupta and Naravarman. As Nara he 
is in Harivamsa, i. i, i, and in many introductory formulas, 
naroUama, the highest of all naras, synonymous with pum- 
shottama (the highest person), both being well-known 
synonyms and names for Vishnu-Vasudeva. 

(&). ndrdyana: its first interpretation. The inclusion of 
naras within a single group finds its completion in the 
personal Nara, although a different synthesis, in impersonal 
form, is also possible. Just as to deva, therefore, there 
pertains the alternative daivam, so to nara belongs the form 
ndram\ and as the fir^t denotes the incorporation of ''devic'' 
power in abstract terms, so does ndram that of "'naric'* • 
power and essence. It has however been objected that 
ndram never occurs in any other context; but this need 
cause no surprise, since nara and Nara itself were subse- 
quently supplanted by other designations for spirits or 
gods. But Brihadbrahma Samhitd, 665, employs ndram, 
and it was not compelled to invent this word ad hoc, since 
the interpretation of ndrdyana by nara, instead of by 
ndram, was available and is, indeed, utilized by it. Still 
more important, however, is the fact that in the list of 
Vishnu names in Narada Pdncardtra, iv. 8, 120, which 
includes other ancient expressions, ndrahdyin is found as 
one of the names for Vishnu; and it seems to me that this 
can only mean; — ''he who rests or dwells in a ndram'' — ^that 
is the spirit residing in a "naric'^ object, such as an old 
magic tree. 


The Ongtml GUa R 



What then is ndrayanal ay ana means “place’' and even, 
taken literally, “dwelling place" ndrdyana, therefore, as 
a bahuvnht means “he who has his dwelling place in a 
ndraw/' — for instance, in some numinous natural object 
such as a sdlagrdma stone, or in a tree or the mountain 
Govardhana, or in any other natural fetish. In other 
words, ndrdyana means nothing but a ndra-sdyin; and just 
as the worshippers of Mahadeva, Vishnu and ^iva are called 
mdhadevas, vaishnavas and saivas, so the gopas who revere 
ndrdyanas are called ndrdyanas. The vowel modification 
{vriddhi) which appears in these forms cannot be observed in 
the equivalence between ndrdyana and ndrdyana-woiship^ei 
simply because ndrdyana, as the object of worship, had itself 
already undergone the vowel modification just referred to.^ 

(c). ndrdyana: its second interpretation. The god of 
Autumn. But perhaps, after all, this interpretation is too 
superficial; and we must assuredly guard against seeking 
the sense of ancient names of gods on the heights of specu- 
lation while primitive explanations -he ready to hand. 

• Alternatively, however, their meaning may elude us if they 
were actually derived from religious intuitions of any higher 
level; and this may be the case with Narayana. We must, 
then, pursue the Text of The Harivamsa still further. 

After Krishna has issued his summons to the mountain 
sacrifice, his utterance assumes the form of an agitated and 

1 Apte's Dictionary, 3, ‘'place, site, abode’'. 

^ That the adjective qualifying the substantive ndrdyana, in the 
sense of pertaining to ndrdyana, is itself ndrdyana, is proved by 
Anuidsanaparvan, 139, v, 6303, ndrdyanam tejas — that is “the 
‘heat’ pertaining to the ndrdyana'', or “the narayanic ‘heat’ ”, 
while at the same time this passage elucidates the original connection 
and relation between the idea of “powgr” and its personification. 
The Narayana incarnate in Krishna, elsewhere strictly regarded as 
a person, is here still a tejas, a magical power, which Krishna can 
radiate from himself like a great devouring fire; then it streams back 
to him, and, “like a docile pupil”, touches the feet of the mighty 
magician, and afterwards quite plaiitlj^ flows into him again. 


extremely impressive description of the life which is awaken- 
ing and manifesting itself powerfully ever3Avhere in refreshed 
autumnal Nature — life which has newly awakened after 
the deadly Summer drought and its subsequent rain storms ; 
and he concludes this characterization with the words: — 

''Now the devas awaken him who, during the torrents 
from the clouds, has slumbered deeply : the highest of the 
thirty gods/' 

This refers to Vishnu-Narayana; and in this quotation a 
specially old tradition must have been preserved, since the 
words contradict later Vishnu theology and, from its own 
point of view, are really a restriction of Vishnu's majesty. 
Certainly, according to the later conceptions, Vishnu is he 
who in his own good time sleeps and then awakens; these 
periods of Vishnu's slumber and awakening, nevertheless, 
are the great eras of the World, during which the Universe 
is enveloped in its latent phase, in order after innumerable 
aeons again to emerge from World-repose. In the citation 
just given, however, nothing more is implied than Natme's - 
annual renewal by sinking to rest in time of drought, the 
anticipatory repose of the rain storm period when men and 
animals tarry, fixed to one spot, inactive and confined, 
followed by the new blossoming of life in the refreshing and 
animating Autumn season when the rainy months are over. 

This extremely ancient notion, which was perhaps the 
root of the other and far more widespread idea,^ recurs in 
The Harivamsa; in Chapter 154, for instance, Krishna's 
son Pradyumna gives a vivid portrayal of the current ratny 
season] then he continues: — 

''Now sleep has overcome the world's refuge, the lord, 
Upendra, (that is, Vishnu)." 

^ cf, ^antiparvan, 232, v, 8551: “As the manifold characteristics 
of past seasons are repeated (in the new year), so too (m the series of 
world periods) the forms of B|;^ma, Kara, etc.'* 

26 o 


And in paying homage to Krishna, Indra offers to covenant 
with him that he himself shall rule over the rainy season 
while Knshna, and hence Narayana, shall govern Autumn, 
when everything grows and thrives anew. Then Indra 
describes Autumn and concludes ' — 

“Fruitful Autumn arrives, when thou shalt have arisen 

from sleef.”'^ 

In the passage just cited, too,^ this conception of Nara- 
yana as the animating god of the seasons is clearly discernible. 
It is true that Krishna-Narayana appears here first of all 
simply as a great magician who gives the onlOoking rishis 
an edifying exhibition of his magical power by parching a 
great, blossoming mountain, and then reanimating it and 
filling it once more with flowers and trees and the sounds of 
newly awakened birds and beasts. But the admiring 
praises of the rishis at once show the real meaning of all 
this : — 

“Thou art Winter and Summer, thou art the time of rain." 

This means only that here too there is an echo of an original 
personification of some "power”, parching the vegetation in 
Summer in order to bring it to life again in the rainy season. 

The significance of this god, who goes to rest and in 
Autumn awakes again, is now perfectly obvious. The whole 
conception is linked with the ideas of a “power” immanent 
in mountain, wood and tree, in human and animal life, 
which is at the same time the “asu”, life, the wonderful and 
mysterious life-force located in objects.® This power has 
its annual period of envelopment and immobility, of peace 
and repose, and then of new awakening and breaking out 

9 ' 

^ Hanvamia, Is the idea of such an “Autumn god'’ contained 
in the (theophoric?) proper name Saradvat? 

2 Anu^asanaparvan, 139. 

® It may also be called lakshml; c/. Harivam^a, 3837, vandnam 
dvigund lakshmt. 



afresh. Within this the individual powers have been 
united to form a single great Power throughout all Nature, 
the separate nams, vishnus and vdsus into the One Vishnu, 
Nara, Vasu. When he goes to rest Nature does the same, 
and when he awakes Nature awakes too, and all in the 
regular succession of seasons in each year. And thus the 
primitive cult of the power-bearing mountains, trees and 
woods, etc., and of the potencies residing in them, has 
developed to the higher level of a cult devoted to the One, 
immanent in all Nature and filling, animating and sustaining 
it with its own life. 

''Developed'', we say, lightly and superficially. But 
exactly as with the primitive idea of Power in general, so 
with this its higher phase; and the term "development" is 
here of but slight assistance towards comprehension. For 
it is in truth a matter of a quite specific type of intuition 
which can certainly be observed, recorded and co-ordinated, 
but whose "How" and "Whence" can be no further eluci- 
dated. The transition, therefore, from the power of life , 
and bliss, located in the govardhana?- and its enchanted 
woods and meadows, to the intuition of the sole God, the 
universal God, living and moving in all Nature and ulti- 
mately in the whole Universe, which He develops from 
Himself and again envelops within Himself, including it 
and its Being within His own Being, is not "development" 
at all, but a new and wholly underivable intuition which 
presupposes the intuitive seer', and it matters no whit 
whether he is called Krishna or by some other name. 

This idea of a god who reposes and awakes again may 
throw new light on the word Narayana and on the connection 
between this and nara? The termination ayana, then, has 
two meanings’ — ^pertaining to a gotra (clan) and, together 
with this, origin and descent from the gotra' s ancestor; its 
significance is thus patro^nymic. In this connection I 

1 c}: p. 244, n. 



remember a conversation which I had many years ago 
with Oldenberg, in which he interpreted narayana as “the 
descendant” of the nam, he believed that nara should be 
understood as the Purusha of the Pumsha-sukta} and 
narayana as the principle of the Universe that had arisen 
from the Purusha, while he regarded the word narayana as 
the product of loftier speculation, from which it had then 
passed into popular usage. I should myself, however, 
consider all this to be far too speculative and abstract a 
conception; although at the same time there is no doubt 
that what, on the one hand, was apprehended .by means of 
the figure of a sleeping and reawakening god, would also 
be thought about in terms of a deity who disappears, who 
goes to rest, who withdraws (as it were) into retirement, 
and of his son or descendant who succeeds him in his new 
and youthful power, as the yuvardja (young king) following 
the one who has departed; and an echo of this still seems to 
resound in the story that Indra, after being overcome, 

. explicitly carries out the consecration of the youthful 
Krishna as the young king assuming authority;^ a dedication 
that is at the same moment conceived as a bestowing of 
power on the world, as becomes clear at the close of the 
passage recounting Krishna’s coronation : — 

“The Earth is freed from the water that has inundated 
it, again the winds blow softly, the sun pursues its course 
undisturbed, and the long vanished mopn shines once 
more. The plagues” (fevers during the rainy season?) 
“decline, the trees bud anew and the world is suffused with 
ambrosia in (and by) the coronation of Krishna.” 

''' Thus, by magic ritual, new strength is imparted to the 
young king of life himself, and with him at the same time 
to the world.® This too accords with the type of ideas 

cf. p. 149, n. 2 Hartvamia, 4004. 

® It may be conjectured that the rttes of such an abhtsheka (sprink- 
ling with water) were formerly associated with the cult of the young 



under discussion: by ritual and magical methods man 
everywhere attempts to assist Nature’s newly arising life, 
personified in the forms of gods or heroes, to obtain its fresh 
energy and to enhance this. And within the same sphere 
falls the legend of Krishna’s childhood and the still flourish- 
ing cult of Bala-Krishnaj^ which some authorities have 
unreasonably tended to regard as a transference of the 
legend of Christ’s childhood. All that is here related about 
Krishna is, however, quite obviously a transposition of 
ancient rites and myths which at one time concerned a 

god of Autumli. These may have consisted in sprinkling his repre- 
sentatives, or his fetish or image, with fresh Autumn milk, just as 
the legend narrates that at the abhisheka the cows sprinkled Krishna 
with their milk, and that Indra does the same with celestial milk 
from golden vessels With this, too, may be connected Narayanans 
enigmatical epithet, kumhha-pyahhava, “he who springs from the 
(milk?) pair’. Ill his Among the Hindus, A Study of Hindu Festivals, 
p. 163 (Cawnpore, 1933), ^ ^ asserts that “in some parts of 
Central India, especially m the Central Provinces and in Berar, 
the ceremony of the birth of Krishna is observed in another way 
also : On this day a pitcher full of curd is hung on a tree some eight , 
feet above the ground, under which both the old and the young 
dance vigorously before the birth of Krishna, which takes place 
exactly at midnight”. (Thus the young god is new born every 
year) “At this time dancers break the pitcher and the curd, that 
falls on them, is caught in their hands and eaten as (grace) prasad ” 
Here one can almost see the kumbha-prabhava In Ms Ober 
die Krishna-] anmdshtami {Ahhandlungen der Kgl, Ahademie dev 
Wissenschaften zu Berlin, 1869), H. Weber has given a detailed 
description of the customs at Krishna’s birth. Here too the kumhha 
(pitcher) continues to play its part; and the adoration of the young 
god in his image is celebrated over a kumbha The connections 
thus appear to me to be quite clear. In the fresh milk in the pail 
the magic “power” is worshipped which has once again stimulated 
it in the cows, while on the other hand this very power is itself 
furthered and increased by the manipulations to which its bearer 
or medium is submitted. The young god’s birth-place is arranged 
as a cow-stall, and a doll-like image of him utilized Krishna’s 
exhortation in The Harwamsa itself prescribed worship m the 
sthdna, which we had to conjecture to be the sthdna of the cows 
1 cf. the magnificent desorption of tMs cult in E, M. Forster’s 
A Passage to India, 



vegetation spirit, the * 'child'' being the newly awakening 
magic life^force. The manipulations and rites which tend 
it and assist its development assume the guise of care for 
an imperilled child which must be protected from snares, 
and for whom its foes he in wait ; and thus a child myth 
arises, which at the same time attracts to itself other mythi- 
cal material with which it amalgamates. The next phase 
is its transference, in the form of a story of his childhood, 
to some leader and prophet who has played a decisive part 
in the expansion of such a religion. Finally, the latter is 
himself elevated to the status of the god whose cult he has 
fostered and advanced. 

It is, therefore, easily intelligible how the figure of Nara, 
who had in fact gone (as it were) into retirement, must fade 
away before that of Narayana, who is precisely the god in 
whom mankind is interested, from whom he expects life, 
existence and all goods of the present time, with whom alone 
he is concerned in his worship and with whose vital force 
he himself yearns to be j&lled. 

(d). The roots of later In this relation 

of Nara to Narayana, still further, it should be a simple 
matter to recognize the root of the specific doctrine of 
the vyuhas (emanations), which subsequently becomes so 
characteristic of Bhdgavata religion. Nara and Narayana 
would then, in fact, be related to one another just as these 
vyuhas are, these “sunderings" of one and the same funda- 
mental Being into two hypostases. In this mode of honour- 
ing the god, moreover, we can observe the root of later 
Bhakti, since it takes the form of enthusiastically roaming 
the woods in ecstatic joy." In exactly the same way Narada, 
the Bhagavat bhakta, subsequently winders ardently through 
the land with his lyre [vmd), and encounters the god 'hn 
lovely woods" and at the foot of the forest trees. So, too, 
in after years the singers seized fey Bhakti, the dlvdrs, travel 
enraptured from place to plS.ce, while in Vrindavana 


Caitanya roves in revelry, imitating his prototype Krishna. 
The intoxicating Mrtana (hymn), again, is always a charac- 
teristic feature of the Bhakti cult. 

(e). Baladeva. Certain conjectural suggestions may also 
be in place here. Krishna's brother, Sankarshana-Baladeva- 
Balabhadra, simultaneously his alter ego and his playfellow, 
leaves his brother for the time being in order to return from 
afar to the herdsmen, once more with them to roam, scouring 
the woods and mountains, while at the same time permitting 
himself to be loved, praised and honoured by the herdsmen 
just as Krishna was. Now this story, in its own context, 
is quite devoid of any reasonable motive. Should its 
elucidation, then, be sought in the fact that together with 
the notion of the sleeping and awakening god, or the god 
reincarnated in his descendant, there subsisted in a parallel 
symbolism the idea of two brothers} One of them wanders 
afar, never to return, while the other arrives in his stead 
and enters into the Jordship, thus representing the newly 
active life force ipala). It may be that the name which , 
Sankarshana frequently bears implies this, since he is also 
called Baladeva. Is it possible that originally a god Bala- 
deva, the deva who, as the new god, brings back the '‘power" 
of the old one and makes it active again, was placed beside 
Vasudeva? The parallelism between the designations Vasu- 
deva and Baladeva is unquestionably most impressive, and 
permits the conjecture that Baladeva was primarily the 
name, not of a human but of a divine figure, and was trans- 
ferred to Krishna's brother, Sankarshana, only when the 
former had himself received the name Vasudeva; and 
perhaps y. 3778 of The Harivamsa also points to this, where 
it is related how Sankafshana became afraid of the demon 
Pralamba wdiom he was riding, and who suddenly grew up 
under him from a small form to monstrous size and then 
threatened him. Krishna exhorts him to remember that 
he, Sankarshana, is NdrdfoHa, and that in this his divine 



form he must smite the demon ''balena's'' head; and it 
proceeds : — 

'Then with clenched fist he struck the demon on the 
head, by this realization of his proper self filled with hala, 
which permeates the three worlds” 

Equally noteworthy is it that in Karnaparvan, 6, v. 143, 
we find the clans of the ndrdyanas and the bala-hhadras 
closely associated together.^ 

(jf). Western Aryan parallels. But of course such ideas 
of immanent power, and of its personifications in spirits and 
gods, were not confined to the shepherd tribes around 
Mathura and Vrindavana; they are, on the contrary, very 
ancient. It may indeed be assumed that mythical figures, 
like those occurring in Krishna's sermon, formed the sub- 
jective material of primitive Aryan, and perhaps too of 
pre-Aryan, times, and this despite the restricted role which 
they play in the Vedas. For even in their detailed aspects 
^ these beings, bom from immanent "power" and worshipped 
in tree and wood, in meadow and mountain, show the 
clearest relationship with those forms which W. Mannhardt 
has discussed in his classical Work, Der BaumkuUus der 
Germanen und ihrer Nachbarstdmme,^ The "Wood and 
Tree Spirits, as Vegetation Demons", treated in his fourth 
Chapter, are nothing other than our naras, vishnus, nara- 
simhaSy vdsus, ndra^dyins and ndrdyanas, and the customs 
observed with regard to the former resemble very closely 

1 In his Introduction to the Pdncardtra (Madras, 1916), p. 144, 
Otto Schrader observes that ''the original worship, proved by 
archeology and the Buddhist scriptur^^s, of only Vasndeva and 
Baladeva can signify nothing else than that by the original pdnca- 
rdtrins Krishna was worshipped as the transcendent highest god, 
and his brother, ‘the god of strength', as his immanent aspect. . . 
This might well be a later theological development of the original 
conception of two brother gods, identical in attributes, in accordance 
with my own conjecture, ^ 2 Berlin, 1857. 



those which have been maintained to this day at the 
Knshna-janmasMafm (Krishna’s birthday) in India. To 
quote Mannhardt himself: — 

“We find the tree-soul conceived as the Genius of growth. 
But since in the annual rejuvenation of the plant world in 
Spring, and again in its decay in Autumn, the seasonal 
change is most clearly mamfested, it is obvious that the 
intuition of the demon of vegetation, embodied in the tree, 
readily changes into a personification of Spring or Summer” 
— ^in this case however, it must be observed, of Autumn — 
“and, still further, receives this name. The ordinary man, 
nonetheless, unaccustomed to abstraction and unschooled 
in conceptual distinctions, never separates these different 
phases from one another, so that vegetation. Spring and 
Summer” — ^but once more in this instance. Autumn — “and 
the protective and representative tree-spirit, all frequently 
become merged by him in one single idea”.^ Mannhardt 
also cites examples oj such tree-spirits changing into wood- 
and mountain-spirits, field- (and meadow-) spirits,® while 
in his Contents^ he observes that “the soul of the tree becomes 
a generahzed vegetation-spirit and is transformed into a 
personification of the good season”. He proceeds to show, 
stiU further, how these forms, sprung from the idea of 
immanent power, combine with all kinds of other creations 
of mythical fantasy. In this respect, however, he seems 
to me not to distinguish sufficiently clearly between the 
various resultants — ^inadequately, in other words, between 
figures of the vishnu type, which arose from the idea of 
power, and those of the rudra type that originated in the 
feeling of numinous terror. Actually, both types merge 
quite naturally with orte another, since both are brought 
into mutual association by “numinous affinity”. The hsts 
of Vishnu’s names, therefore, always include some which 
can be traced back to the second root, while on the other 

1 P. 155. * *P. 102. ® P. xii. 



hand the ''green trees”, though certainly completely isolated, 
are nevertheless to be found in the Satarudriyam (a hymn), 
the mdras of which are not in any case derived from the 
concept of immanent "Power”. 

In fact, then, the great divine form of The Gttd may well 
have been developed from a common and primitive Aryan 
root, subject however to the distinction that, in the East, 
this root retained its motive power and prepared the way 
for the highest conception, while in the West it lost its 
numinous potency. We have here, indeed, one instance of 
the "ascending and descending numina'\ with which I 
have dealt in Chapter VI of my Gefuhl des tlbcrweltlichen. 

But elevation to concrete divine form is undoubtedly 
very much older than Krishna. Gopas like those around 
Mathura are to be encountered elsewhere also; and that 
Brahmanism found itself, at so early a stage, compelled to 
incorporate the form of Vishnu, as Upendra, in its Pantheon, 
was certainly not the mere outcome qf this small group of 
vrishnis and andhakas. The Chdndogya Upanishad^ iii. 17, 6, 
seems to me, however, to be the first attempt from the 
point of view of Brahmanism to claim for itself, in one way 
or another, Krishna the son of Devaki. 

That Krishna himself was a historical figure is indeed 
quite indubitable. From behind the veils of the legend in 
The Harivamsa features rise into prominence which combine 
together to form a readily intelligible figure, amply substan- 
tiated by historical analogies: a man in whom the ideals 
of his ancient race still live, who rescues and extricates his 
people from the influences of an intrusive foreign culture 
which is destroying its communal life, becomes its leader 
and at the same time, as the preserver and reformer who 
moulds afresh the ancient ancestral cult, acquires the status 
of its religious hero. He intends his people to be and to 
remain gopas who freely "roaiu from wood to wood”, not 
contemptible glehae adscripti like the worshippers of Indra; 



to continue as nardyanas and not to become mantra-yajnas 
and sUd-yajnas like the others. And as the primeval 
Jahveh and Elohim, owing to Moses’ founding of a commu- 
nity that serves a Jahveh and in him is united, indeed 
newly created, become the great divine Form of the Old 
Testament j so too among Krishna’s gopas the figure of the 
sleeping and awakening god of Autumn, which obscurely 
arises from the naras and vishmis, the narasimhas and vdsus, 
grows into that of Vishnu-Narayana-Vasudeva who subse- 
quently, in the community of the bhdgavatas thus created, 
expands into the great Kvara of The Gltd. It is at the same 
time obvious’ that Garbe is wrong in conceiving this god 
of the bhdgavatas, who evolved as I have just tried to 
explain, too closely in terms of the analogy with the notion 
of the purely transcendent God of the Old Testament type. 

It is true that this Kvara, developed in this manner, is 
actually no mere deification of "'the Universe”; nevertheless 
the Universe, as his deha, subsists in the closest community 
of Being with him, while this idea of God is purely and cor- 
rectly expressed in the words ‘Tasudeva is all”.^ Just as ' 
each nansimha and each "'mountain spirit” possess their 
tree and mountain not only as one instance of themselves, 
but simultaneously ""are” the tree and the mountain in the 
sense that they belong most closely and essentially to one 
another, so too with the relationship of Vishnu-Vasudeva to 
Nature and to the Universe. The Prakriti is in fact God’s 
""owm” Prakriti, and by virtue of it He is in very truth ""the 
thread on which all things are strung” (vii. 7). 

(g). The assimilation of the fairy tale of the Far-striding 
Dwarf. Ancient cosmogonic myths of the tortoise and the 
wild boar had been com^ected with the figure of Prajapati 
(the original form of avatdrasl) ; and when Vishnu-Narayana 
had become the great God of the Universe and of creation, 
these were transferred to Him. At a much earlier date, 

1 19. 



presumably, Vislinti had also assimilated to himself the old 
mythical fairy tale of the dwarf who, outmtting his opponent, 
gains the whole Earth by his three giant strides; and that 
this story is not at all concerned with a ‘"sun god'*, but was 
originally a typical ancient magical and mythological fairy 
tale, appears to me to have been convincingly demon- 
strated by Oldenberg.^ Nonetheless the question still 
remains: — How, and in what sense, could this tale become 
explicitly attached to the figure of Vishnu? 

In my Gefuhl des Uberweltlichen^ I have discussed the 
reason why Power numina, regarded as immanent, could be 
imaginatively pictured as dwarf figures. How" the old fairy 
tale of the three paces and the gigantic stride subsequently 
becomes modified appears to me still to be perceptible 
in the account of the Vamana incarnation in Harivamsa 
4265 jf., where the ‘'strides'' of the ancient legend become 
the stages of the “dwarf's" own growth, the phases of his 
own expansion and permeation of the Universe, and at the 
same time of his possession thereof : — ‘ 

“When the oath (by the water) was sworn,' then the 
dwarf ceased to be a dwarf, and then the Lord showed his 
form, containing all the devas. The Earth as his feet, the 
sky as his head, sun and moon as his eyes. . . Verse 14 
310 jf., again — “As he strides over the Earth, the sun and 
moon reach up to his breast. As he strides farther on to 
the sky, they reach up to his hips. As he strides to the 
highest place of all, they lie at his feet." 

It is clear that the old mythical story could take its own 

1 cf. Pralamba, already alluded to, winch from being a small 
figure suddenly becomes a giant; but these are tncks of fairy-tale 
spirits, not cosmogonic mysteries. Quite similarly is the story 
assimilated by Vishnu, about the grateful fish which saves Manu 
from the Flood, a typical myth-fairy- tale. In this, too, occurs the 
swelling up from a little form to monstrous size. 

^ P. Ill, 2; cf. SanUparvan, 286^ v. 10 450: — ‘'may the spirits, as 
big as my thumb, residmg in bodies,^protect me'*. 



place as soon as the idea of the numinous power immanent 
in tree and mountain, in Earth and stone, in forest and all 
Nature became exalted to the immanent World Power 
which permeates, to an ever increasing degree, all provinces 
and spheres, ultimately filling and possessing the Universe 
which it dominates. Here again, therefore, we are con- 
cerned with no mere chance addition of a mythological fairy- 
tale, but rather with a great, profound and expanding 
religious intuition, which utilizes the motij of a legendarj* 
myth. Nonetheless is it wholly analogous to the intuition 
just referred to: just as in that instance the God of all 
World eras and World periods develops out of the god who 
yearly goes to rest with the destro5dng Summer heat, and 
reawakes in Autumn, so here the idea of locally immanent 
numinous power rises by degrees to the World-ruling Power, 
which gradually penetrates all spheres and makes them the 
domain of its own lordship and energy. 

{h). Satapatha Brahmana, xii. 6, i. This, being the 
oldest passage that refers to Narayana, I should regard 
evidence o-f the idea of a progressive and penetrative appio- 
priation of the Universe by a vishnu-ndrdyana which was, 
originally, conceived quite primitively. Here the question 
concerns a Purusha Narayana, Purusha being nothing 
but a nara, a powerful “spirit’'. He outstrides all beings 
and becomes the Universe, thus mightily expanding himself 
until he permeates all that exists. But according to 
Brahmanic speculation, he achieves this by performing an 
act of sacrificial magic. The pre-Brahmanic, and at the 
same moment the more primitive, phase of all this, howi'ver, 
had been the appropriation of the mythical fairy tak' of a 
magic being taking its three far-reaching strides— nrnAvawijn 
“far striding”, and uru^dya, "far advancing". And this 
"striding” too, in fact, is to be understood from the view- 
point of magical notions. For by striding in various direc- 
tions the magician wishes ^o gain wide realms against 



wicked foes, both men and evil spirits. In shaman rites, 
again, such strides are ascents of a ladder whereon the 
shaman mounts to the heavenly heights where dwell the 
gods ; and a similar practice is still found when the sacrificer 
climbs up a post to a disc representing the sun; with this 
Vishnu's '‘highest stride” may be compared. The Brah- 
manic idea just alluded to, as well as this ancient magical 
notion, are assimilated to a power-being which, onginally 
residing as power in certain specified natural objects, 
expands hy virtue of prophetic intuition and develops into the 
immanent Power-principle of the whole Universe. 

(6). The correction of my Title 

In this respect, strictly speaking, I am negating my own 
Title; for, ultimately, the "origin” of the idea of the great 
god Vishnu is not that sphere of primitive magic notions 
which I have just discussed. These, indeed, form that 
curious mist out of which something wholly different breaks 
. forth increasingly: — the idea, that is to say, of the abso- 
lutely transcendent numen. Themselves born from the 
first agitations of numinous apperception, these notions 
then become the incentives for the eruption of this latter 
concept into consciousness; and while it certainly always 
retains the hues of its primitive origin, nevertheless it 
steadily outranges this. While therefore it unquestionably 
springs from amidst such factors, it does not literally originate 
therein, and it is not their product. It finds its roots, on 
the contrary, in the mysterious predisposition of man's 
spirit for something that is absolutely superior to the Uni- 
verse and which, aroused and set in motion by primitive 
apperceptions, is the generating atfd propelling restlessness 
in ideational constructiveness, until from behind the veil of 
origins the great I^vara of The GUd advances into the light. 
The philosophical investigation of this "predisposition” has 


been carried out by J. F. Fries, while de Wette has linked 
it with the History of Religion, it forms, still further, the 
legitimate aspect of the unsubstantiated theory of so-called 
'Trimitive Monotheism’'. 

(ill), '"bhakti” as contrasted with “sankhya” 

AND ‘'yoga'"’ 

Treatises II and VI show how Bhakti theology utilizes 
the Sdnkhya, and at the same time assigns to Yoga its 
due status as merely a subordinate phase. In the long 
run, however, Bhakti theology could tolerate neither the 
cold Sdnkhya ideal of the Kaivalyam (isolation from 
the world), nor its doctrine of the inactivity of the self, 
although the latter principle is modified at a later stage by 
the admonition to recognize not oneself, but 'The Lord”, 
as He who effects all in all. It was also inevitably com- 
pelled to reject theyogin^s independent goal of salvation in 
the stddha state, while it could retain the systematic Yoga 
discipline only in so far as this assisted it to direct 'The^ 
mind” entirely upon "the Lord”, as had already been 
inculcated in Treatise I, together with the regulated con- 
templative discipline by means of certain Yoga methods 
whereby the sdkshdtkdra, or the visual imagination of the 
divine Form, was attained; this also continued to be a 
familiar feature. Nevertheless it is obvious that the ideal 
of the search for salvation, and the experience thereof, that 
was common to both Sdnkhya and Yoga, was something 
fundamentally too profoundly alien to Bhakti] and from all 
this the recognition necessarily followed that even Yoga 
proper, not to speak of Sdnkhya, was impossible even as a 
subordinate grade of personal experience. This mutually 
exclusive antithesis between Bhakti on the one hand, and 
Sdnkhya and Yoga on the other, is shown in a particularly 
impressive way in the following legend about Vishnu- 

Th^OngimlGUd S 



dharma, a king of Dravida, who despairs of life because he 
cannot find the One whom he has long been seeking “I 
will destroy my life”, he declares, “if I behold him not”; 
then there comes to him an unknown, named Srivatsa, and 
they converse thus : — 

Srlvatsa: “O King, why liest thou on the ground on a bed 
of grass? What doest thou here, righteous man as thou 

Vishnu-dharma: “Men care not for that on which every- 
thing depends: — ^seeking and finding God. But to this I 
aspire: O that I may succeed! For the sole end of our 
bodily life is that we ourselves may behold the Lord of the 
Universe, the Supreme One. To him, though we know 
him not, and to attaining him, are we destined. If we find 
him not, what is the use of all else that gives us any pleasure 
in this our body?” 

“Ever3H;hing which is visible or audible here in this 
world is nothing but Nature m her many changes and in 
her manifold forms. But he who is the basis of this whole 
. shifting world, changing from moment to moment — ^if I 
may not behold him, vain is my life : what use is it to me? If 
I attain not him who is above all things and is the highest 
goal, what at all have I gained ? He whose splendour fills 
all things with splendour, who himself can be filled with 
splendour from no other source — ^if he remain s unknown to 
me, vain is my life : what use is it to me? He of whose 
bliss all the bliss in man’s life is but a faint reflection — if 
I gain not such bliss, then vain is my life: what use is it 
to me? He whose lordship upholds this whole Universe 
as it moves and stays — ^if I come not to know his lordship, 
vain is my life, what use is it to me? The undefiled water 
wherewith his feet are cleansed purifies the whole triple 
world — if I take not refuge in him alone, vain is my life: 
what use is it to me? To be his servant is the sole joy of 
^ Bnhadbrahma Samhita, in. i ff. 


Brahma, Rudra and all the other celestial ones ; — I cannot 
become his servant, vain is my life: what use is it to me?” 

“The object of all the sacred writings is in the invisible 
alone ; and how can he find salvation who does not himself 
know the invisible Being (of the Supreme)? The sole aim 
of our vision is to behold his eternal abode {Vaikuntha), 
and of our hearing to hearken to his word. He who fills 
breath and sense, reason and the body and the very inner 
self with hfe, which without him is powerless — of what use 
to me is a life without him? It would be vain. He of 
whose glory the whole triple world is the manifestation, on 
whom all depends and to whom all belongs, of what use is 
a life without him? — 0 fevatsa, from the mouths of the 
masters have I learnt that, according to the teachings of 
Holy Writ, he alone is the goal, and that only towards 
possessing him should one aspire. 'Verily, so it is’, has it 
been declared again and again. Whoever abandons him 
shall be called a fool : he is lamentable. But I cannot find the 
way to behold him.' And so I am resolved to end my life.” 

Snvafsa: “Just as with thee, 0 Eiing, I too had determined* 
to destroy my life unless I beheld the Great Lord. Then 
there spake to me the voice of one invisible: — 'Not of thine 
own wiU mayest thou abandon thy body, which was given 
to thee by the divine Law. Go rather to the hermitage of 
the two masters, N. and N., in my holy land. They will 
declare the way to thee. For gracious is God to the man 
whose heart is afflicted.’ And I was just preparing to set 
out when I heard people saying: — 'Vishnu-dharma intends 
to give up his hfe. Why should he do that?' Then I 
came here to see thee, after I had heard this talk about 
thee. For we are both,oppressed by the same grief. (Hear 
further, then, how it has fared with me.)” 

“Many ways of salvation had I studied: but none had 
helped me to the knowledge of God. I was instructed by 
the 'philosophers’ (the adljerents of Sdnkhya), in the method 



of distinguishing accurately the (twenty-four) tattvas (and 
the individual soul which also subsists). Thus I learned to 
know the (individual, inner) single self called the Twenty- 
fifth', But verily the Twenty-sixth', the highest Purusha 
himself, who is higher than those individual single souls, I 
could not find: him who is the foundation of all this that 
is called Being or Non-being (Spirit and Nature). Then I 
pondered inwardly: — This spiritual subject (proclaimed by 
the sdnkhyas) is not active (in each individual) and Nature 
is in itself soulless material. How then can this creation, 
which exists before our eyes, have come into being? But 
in its connection with Nature, the spirit has itself only a 
''natural" existence, and it is not free. Who then could be 
the "cause" of this Universe? For still less can causation 
be ascribed to Nature itself; verily it is soulless material 
and must itself depend upon the "Spirit", (as has been said). 
And since they are thus both unfree — that is, incapable of 
causation — ^no causal activity can be ascribed to either of 
them. Now if a cause may somehow spring from the 
•connection between Nature and the "spirit", then I myself 
should be such a one. Must not I myself, then, be the cause 
of the Universe? (But that is absurd.) Now (according to 
the teaching of these philosophers) the spirit is known to 
be absolutely separated from Nature; and for such a one 
there exists no capacity whatever for causation. In all 
this, therefore, only a spirit can be discerned that certainly 
is free from Nature, but is still not a universal cause.' — ^Thus 
perplexed, for long I tormented myself." 

"Then, because of my affliction, another teacher resorted 
to me.^ (Kindly) he spake: — ‘Why dost thou grieve, and 
why dost thou let the lotus of thy^ countenance wither?'. 
I answered him : — 'Because I can find no one in the whole 
world who can resolve my doubts.' " 

1 This is Sankhya dochrine. 

^ He was a master of ^ stddka. 


The siddha: '1 know what troubles thee, without thy 
telling me. For by virtue of Yoga discipline I am a siddha. 
Thou seekest for the higher capacities (of the spirit,^ of which 
the sdnkhyas could give thee nothing). As the blossom of 
the paldsa tree is not moistened by the water, so verily the 
spirit is not sullied by Nature (as the sdnkhyas have rightly 
told thee). But only through Yoga does the spirit attain 
siddh% — that is, supernatural miraculous power. Hear 
now how it gains this: God Himself produces the movable 
and the immovable only by Yoga Power; only by Yoga 
does He sustain it and hold it together; all this, all that 
can be seen or heard, rests upon Yoga lordship. Now 
Yoga, to begin with, is the complete suppression of the 
functions of the organ of thought. Through Yoga power 
(arising from this) is attained omniscience, dominion over 
men, omnipresence, memory (of one’s own previous exis- 
tences), and in fact the Universe. There is no lord’ higher 
than (the magical power of) Yoga. The 'nine treasures’ are 
gained through Yoga, and also the eight supernatural 
siddhis. Only through their Yoga do the (celestial) manes, * 
the munis (or siddhas) and the gods exist. By Yoga he who 
is established therein rises above the five elements, above 
primitive Matter, above the spirit, above all beings. So 
gain thou, by means of Yoga, possession of lordship over all. 
Then thou shalt become, by thy mere will, a creator of the 
entire Universe.” 

Snvatsa: "So I turned, unwearied, to the Yoga system 
inculcated by this teacher; and by such Yoga paths, begin- 
ning with discipline, self-control and the like, I became a 
perfect yogin, untouched by pain and illness. By such 
Yoga I could see into tl^e interior of all things; and my thus 
perfected self I deemed an unequalled lord. 'Different in 

^ From himself and his own interests the siddha infers those of 
his interlocutor; but he is wr^ng, since the other seeks something 
wholly different. 



essence, in power and might, from all other beings (belonging, 
that is to say, to the quite different class of beings of the 
siddhas), I shall now by the sheer force of will perform 
miraculous works’ — thus thought I. And so, by virtue of 
my will, high in the ether I created a divine, ravishing 
world, most glorious and wondrous to behold. On a great 
golden throne I sat and created planets, stars and lunar 
constellations, created for myself a lovely woman and 
children and comrades. Here whatever I desired became 
real. And I thought : — ‘There is no other Lord than I • I 
myself am the Creator: no other and no higher Creator is 
there than I myself, nor will there ever be one’. But after 
long time the decree of God, of the Supreme (by whose per- 
mission alone all those miraculous works had come into 
being), came to an end; and then my own magical will 
power vanished. The magic city had disappeared; in the 
far ethereal spaces I was alone. ‘Who’, I asked myself, ‘has 
robbed me of my power that sprang from Yoga? Where 
dwells this Being? is it mightier still than Yoga lordsliipp’ 
* (In search of him) I penetrated into visible things, into the 
Earth and outside the Earth; taking the form of water, into 
the water; but the Highest Spirit I saw not. Out of the 
water I went, in the guise of fire into fire and far beyond: 
but the Highest Spirit I saw not. Likewise into the air, 
the ether, individuality and the great and mighty {ahamkdra 
and mahat), and into the primitive Matter itself; but the 
Highest Spirit I saw not. Above the realm of Nature I 
mounted into the sphere of the spiritual. But here I 
beheld only the self (of individual beings): the Highest 
Spirit I saw not. Then I thought: — ‘The Highest Spirit 
does not exist: therefore He does »ot show Himself. Nor 
in Yoga is there salvation nor knowledge, nor true power. 
Nevertheless our thought (Holy Writ, teachers and others) 
tell us that there is a Spirit higher than all spirits. Why 
then does He not let Himself seen, as He is, in form. 


being and attributes? The goal of the yogin and of all 
others (who strive after the transcendent) can be only this 
Highest Spirit itself, or the lordship (of the sidihas, of which 
I have spoken. But since both are vain), I must conclude 
that there is no way at all to the Highest (transcendent 

"And as (full of despair) I thought thus, out of the air a 
voice spoke to me: — ‘Only through devout love (that is, Bhakti), 
am I to he seen. Not otherwise, even by ten thousand 
means of salvation. The "Spirit” which (by way of Sdnkhya 
or Yoga) thpu hast found, through the knowledge trans- 
cending the tattvas of Nature, is certainly higher than 
"Nature”, but that too is nothing other than what depends 
on Me and belongs to Me. I alone am higher than Nature 
and Spirit. But I, in Myself, can be attained by no other 
path than through the love which is directed upon nought 
else but Me. Be thou led by the master (whom I shall 
show thee) to the love which is wholly devoted to Me, and 
practise this. And abandon all other "means”, for by no 
other method of salvation am I to be attained.’ ” — 

King Vishnu-dharma follows this instruction. He gives 
up his kingdom, family and possessions, leaves his country 
and betakes himself with Srivatsa to the master of whom he 
has been told, in order to win the "highest and keenest 
devout love” which will procure for him, not the imaginary 
good of the yogin, not the cold wisdom of "philosophers”, 
but bliss in the service of the deeply felt and sought for 



(The Reference Numbers are to Chapters and V erses of 
The GUd) 

II. 9: Govinda means 'The finder of cows''; and the word doubt- 
less has the significance, in the first place, of a "seer" who, like 
Samuel, knew how to find and point out run-away or stolen 
cattle, together with the spirit that inspires him. Such a spirit, 
as the patron of cows, the vnshnis will have worshipped in addi- 
tion to the naras and ndrdyanas previously referred to. Then 
when Krishna himself became identified with Narayana, he 
himself too became Govinda. The myth that I have already 
quoted relates how the vanquished Indra humbles himself be.fore 
Krishna and consecrates him as king by ahhisheka (sprinkling, or 
baptism). At the same time, at this regal consecration, he 
thus addresses him: — 

"I am Indra of the devas, but thou hast gained Indra's power 
over the cows. 

As Govinda the people will ever praise thee. 

And because the cows have set thee as Indra (lord) and god 
over [upari) myself. 

The deities in heaven will sing to thee as Upa-IndraT^ 

(Here upa is derived from upari on the basis of an incorrect 

II. 10: ''These words". To this there corresponds in x, i: — 
"Now hear further My supreme utterance". The former term 
constitutes the first reference to Arjuna's "care" and "sorrow", 
and as such it is only the introduction to the main subjects of 
Krishna's discourse to Arjuna — "From everything arises", and 
the truth that Arjuna is to be God's "tool". 

11. II : In The Kashmir Recension of The BhagavadgUd^ Otto 
Schrader has shown that the most probable reading here is 

^ Harivamia, 4004 cf, ante p. 240. 

2 P. 14; (Stuttgart, 1930; referfed to throughout as K). ^ 



prdjnavat na abhibhdshase — ''thou dost not speak (to me) with 
insight”. If this is correct its sense becomes clear. Arjuna is 
oppressed by his soka (sorrow) and, what is stiU more important, 
he lacks insight into what is to be accomplished on the battle- 
field — the fateful decree of the great God, and equally the r 51 e 
of Arjuna himself as ''the tool” of Him "from Whom everything 
arises”. Then Krishna removes the soka by the first portion of 
his speech, and Arjuna indicates this to him by acknowledging, 
after hearing his words, that "the perplexity has disappeared” 
(xviii. 73). Krishna gives him "insight” into the will of the 
God of Destiny by his self-manifestation as Kala, and also by 
declaring: — "Be thou nought but My tool” (xi. 33). This verse 
gives, therefore, in the clearest and most concise way, as it were 
the programme for Krishna's speech and his deed of revelation. 

The Vulgate term — pmjndvdddn — ^is a questionable and dis- 
puted construction. In my Translation I have attempted to 
derive some meaning from it, although I prefer the Kashmir 
reading. Madhva explains the expression prajndvdddn by 
svamaatshoUha-vacandni (words arising from one's own intelli- 
gence), and his commentator adds: — "Words that originate only 
from thy own knowledge, not from the instruction of the writings 
and the masters”, the relation between pmjnd (knowledge) and 
vdda (doctrine) is to be interpreted as that of cause to effect, • 
the compound being a genitive tatpurusha. Now the poet was 
certainly not thinking of the contrast with the doctrines of 
writings or of masters, but may have intended to refer merely to 
human reflection and judgment, incapable as this is of insight 
into God's eternal decrees. 

II. 14-19, 21: On the rejection of this Gloss cf. pp. 145/. 

It is clear that v, 20 is connected with 13 ; and Garbe's exclusion 
of 17 is unjustified, since 17 and 18 require each other and, 
taken in conjunction^ they explain 16. Further, in 18 sanrin is 
in the singular, as is tat in 17, while tat is not Brahman but the 
dtma-tattvam (Ramanuja). But whether this is regarded here as 
singular or as plural cannot be decided from this passage; either 
is possible. ^ 

II. 23-28 : This argument, springing from the spiritual attitude 
of a resigned agnosticism that is wholly foreign to the dtman 
doctrine, likewise occurs in the Sections of Moksha-dharma, 
174, 17, which are congenial^to Buddhism. It is obvious that 
it contrasts most violently ^with the confident assurance of 



strophes 20, 22, 29, and that the writer of v. 29 cannot also have 
written 28. In the crassest possible way it completely separates 
strophes 22 and 29, closely connected together though these are. 

II. 30: quod erat demonstrandum. Here a clear summary is 
given of the theme stated in 12, 13, and subsequently substan- 
tiated by the sacred words of authority of vv. 20, 22, 29. In this 
summary, however, there is not one word of the Sdnkhya doctrine 
that the dtman itself is not active, nor a single reference to any 
part of the other material interpolated here. 

II 45: nitya-sattva-stha: sattva is the first of the three gunas; 
as to the nature of the gunas, The Gltd itself provides detailed 
information in xiv. 5. In this verse Arjuna is called upon to 
stand above the g%mas, and this would also mean above the guna 
sattva ; at the same time, however, he is required to stand in the 
nitya-sattva. Here there is opposed to the ksharam — ^that is to 
the sattva which pertains to whatever is ''ephemeral” — a sattva 
that is not a guna of an ephemeral "nature”, but is the nityam — 
not fleeting but everlasting. This is, however, the real meaning 
of sattvam itself, while actually the use of the term sattva^x a 
guna of "ephemeral” character is a self-contradiction. My own 
conjecture is that the position of sattva among the Nature gunas 
here is not original, but that in contrast to rajas and tamas, 
c sattva at one time denoted the actual ideal, and that this subse- 
quently rendered it imperative to distinguish, from sattva as a 
guna, a nitya-sattva that was not a g^ma at all. Thus it corre- 
sponds to the sixth Prapdthaha of The Chdndogya, from which, 
in fact, the guna doctrine no doubt originates Here "Sat” is 
not one of the vikdras — not one of the later-born constituents of 
created Nature — ^but that which precedes all Nature and forms 
its foundation. And to this the ancient doctrine of the three 
gunas evidently refers in Treatise III, {The Gltd, xvii. 26), 
which again is not Sdnkhya. In accordance with the inculcation 
of Equanimity-Ycg^x in general, nitya-sattva here becomes 
morahzed, denoting in the first instance the firm and constant 
spiritual attitude of inner freedom and superiority which is based 
on the vyavasdya of ii. 45. The latter, nevertheless, always 
remains metaphysically overshadowed It is the prelude to a 
transcendent condition, never more clearly defined, but which 
can be indicated by Nirvana, Brahma-Nirvana, Brahml sthitis, 
Brahma-Bhdva, siddhi, samsiddhi, siddhatva, or other symbols of 



II. 46: I believe that Otto Schrader's ingenious explanation 
of this verse is inaccurate, because it implies that the '"brah- 
man" is not "wise" but sti^id. Here, rather, the activity of the 
Brahmanic-Vedic cult, as directed to individual "profit", is 
evidently referred to, so that in the following verse the renunci- 
ation of "profit" may be opposed to it; only this interpolation 
accords with the vigorous rejection in vv. 42-45 
11. 50: Karma-bhanda, or the fetters due to Karman, is that 
which results from action in general, both bad and good alike. 
Or in other terms, Yoga deprives action of its dangerous character 
(similarly with Sankara). The translation: "Yoga gives skill 
with regard to actions", is seriously misleading and wholly 
opposed to the true sense of the context. Enquiries about 
someone's kausalam refer to his good health, not to his posses- 
sion of skill; and in this connection, kausalam corresponds to 
"the abode free from stckness'* of v, It is by no means the 
yogin's purpose to exalt action and its accomplishment, nor to 
show how proficiency therein is acquired. Rather he intends 
to indicate how, with respect to the action which is in fact 
unavoidable, the danger is to be averted of being stricken by the 
fatality which always attends all action, as such. Of Fichte's 
"joyous doing of the ‘right", as of his "vocation of man for 
joyously active work", and again of Nietzsche's "manifestation 
of power", this Hindu Ethics knows absolutely nothing and 
would never have comprehended it. 

II 52 : Sfotavyasya srutasya ca: this onomatopoeic alliteration 
is intended as an ironical reference to the continual chatter made 
by the brahmans recitmg their Texts, with which, as the Suka 
legend mockingly says, they "fiU the world"; cf. "the endless 
chatter of the brahmans" in Sanatsu'jdtafarvan, 42, 6.^ 

II. 66: A bhdvita is a man of cultivated, developed and disci- 
plined character, and the term has been employed previously 
in II. 34 in the sense of "honourable". I would suggest that in 
this passage the word bhdvand,^ about which there has been 
much controversy, is to be understood in accordance with this 
derivation. According to Petersburger Worterbuch, bhdvita- 
buddht means one who Tias cultivated his understanding, and 
in this verse buddhi is closely connected with bhdvand. I 
have already discussed the meaning of Buddht-Yoga in this 

^ Deussen, p. ii. 

2 cf. Chapter vii, p. 239. 



Treatise^: — the ‘^cultivation” of huddhi until it acquires the 
steadfast form of steeled and immutable force of resolution, based 
on the fundamental vyavasdya of v, 45. Thus interpreted, how- 
ever, hhdvand actually approaches very closely to “character” 
(in its Kantian sense). For “character” is in itself precisely the 
permanent development of huddhi by means of maxims; and 
for our yogin this is the state of mind which actually accompanies 
sdnti, or inner spiritual serenity, which is for him at the same 
time the condition of genuine “happiness”. 

III. 3 : This is inaccurate, and is moreover a slight modification 
of the sense of huddhi. In the preceding passages the essenhal 
point was, in the first place, that if we act, we should do so 
without attachment, but not as yet that we should act; this is 
deferred to a later stage. And huddhi, which hitherto has been 
the “practical wisdom” of firm resolution, is here equated to the 
theoretical jndna of the sdnkhyas. The dual significance of 
huddhi, as force of resolution and also as knowledge, here facili- 
tates this extension of its meaning, while the author's own 
standpoint, in desiring to be at one and the same momeM both 
sdnkhya and yogin, demands it. 

III. 4* The condition of the siddha. The siddhas were at one 
time perfected who had attained ’the magical aisvaryam 

(lordship) — deified magical beings, powerful and blessed.^ For 
their mode of being our author subsequently employs the expres- 
sion hrahml sthitih — the Brahmic transcendent and miraculous 
state of perfection — and also Brahma-Nirvdna, which for him 
has the same meaning. 

Ill 9-18 : This Section is quite clearly recognizable as a Brah- 
manic Gloss, if only because in its ultimate tendency it stands 
in the sharpest contrast to the doctrines of the author of the 
Treatise himself. For he never regarded “action” as being 
specficially sacrificial action, and his express teaching is that 
by no means sacrificial action only, but all actions, do not bind 
their doer when they are performed without attachment to 
action and its fruits; and, above all else, that it is precisely he 
who aspires to perfection who must perform actions: The 
Glossographer, however, intended to Correct this doctrine in the 
totally different sense that only sacrificial action does not bind; 
and what is still more important, as against the writer of the 

1 Chapter vi, p. 228. 

- cf. p. 122 



Treatise he specifically defends that very Sannydsa ideal which 
the latter most emphatically combats. For in vv. 17 and 18 he 
teaches, in accordance with the genuine Brahmanic ideal, that 
he who is perfect acts no more, but follows the path of full and 
actual mrvntti, passing on from Matter to Spirit. As contrasted 
with the ideal of Equanimity- Yoga, both standpoints alike are 
true scholastic Brahmanism. On the one hand it defends on 
subtle grounds the way of Vedic sacrifice, while for the same 
reasons, on the other hand, it extols the ideal of the Parivrdjaka 
— an ancient religious community. Sankara quite rightly 
utilizes this passage in pursuing his well-known method of 
completely inverting the doctrine of action in The GUd; and 
with equal justice he refers also to the Brihad-Aranyaka Upani- 
shady III. 5, I,— the loc^^s classicus for the ancient Parivrdjaka 
ideal that disavows action.^ 

This Gloss is very clearly presented: — 

(j). The two reasons for the duty, never to be neglected, of 
sacrificial action: 

(a). He who does not sacrifice robs the gods. 9-13. 

(|8)". He who does not sacrifice contemns Brahman itself and 
hinders the Brahman wheel: 14-16. 

(2). The ideal of the 'sannydstn, who no longer acts, which is 
superior to that of the sacrificer (yajamdna) : 17, 18. 

Further as regards (l, b), v. 14 traces ‘'the beings", in the first 
place, back to the sacrifice; they rest on its (magical) operation 
— that is to say, they are supported by this. Then, says v. 15 : — 
"‘Brahman itself, so far as it is all pervading {sarvagatam) y rests 
always on the sacrifice". Plainly each is intended to supple- 
ment the other, as they actually do if sarvagatam is taken liter- 
ally here. Thus from Brahman, in its form as undeveloped 
Aksharam (eternal or imperishable), is distinguished Brahman 
as sarvagatam: Brahman, in other terms, no longer as trans- 
cendent and undeveloped but as “having become the All"— 
that is as having become all beings. Since all “beings" are 
supported by the sacrifice, and since they also are Brahman as 
sarvagatam, it is therefore true that Brahman itself, precisely as 
sarvagatam, is sustained bf the sacrifice too, whence it follows 
that whoever despises the sacrifice despises Brahman also. He 
does this, moreover, in so far as sacrifice reposes on general 



Veda action, this again on Veda sabdabrahman, and this in turn 
on the Highest Brahman — on Aksharam. 

Such a person, at the same time, interferes with the spokes of 
a mighty wheel. Certainly the course of the line just delineated 
was traced backwards from the bhutdni (the existent beings) 
to Aksharam: both these, however, are Brahman: and thus 
the line goes from Brahman to Brahman: it is a circle; and with 
this figure of the circle is associated that of the wheel — of the 
World-wheel, and finally the continued rotation, or else the 
retardation, of the wheel This seems to me to be the most 
probable sense of this verse, even though it conflicts with the 
Commentaries] and if vv, i^h-T^a followed 15&, it would be obvi- 
ous. But in this order the concatenation requisite to introduce 
the image of the circle would be interrupted. 

The author of the Gloss forcibly inserts this between vv. 8 and 
19, although these are as closely associated as are the two shells 
of one nut. He wishes to immunize v, 8, and with this to provide 
a prophylactic antidote to vv. 19^. This Gloss again, which 
is undoubtedly interpolated, yields in its unmistakable signature 
a good method of identifying its writer in other passages; and 
the same hand, pursuing the same tendency, has composed the 
circumstantial sacrificial theory in the interpolation iv. 24-32, 
where he once more confuses the context and diverges from the 
actual trend of the author himself.^ He even repeats (and this 
as an entering in to Brahman \) the '"food as the remains of the 
sacrifice’' — the last feature that would ever have occurred to 
the mind of our Karma-yogin. Here too we find his assertion 
that the sacrifice rests upon (Vedic) action; and he converts 
the "'knowledge” extolled by the Sdnkhya-Yoga author into the 
knowledge that aU "sacrifice”, or in other words all religious 
practices and methods, originate in Vedic action, 

III. 15 : Sridhara explains Karman and Brahman yajamanddi- 
vydpdra-rupam karma; brahma vedah; karma tasmdt pravrittam; 
and thus, unquestionably, it is to be understood. 

As regards the beginning of the series in v. 14: "the beings” 
are the sarvagatam Brahma. Since "the beings” are sustained 
by the sacrifice, Brahman itself — ^thapt is as sarvagatamAAs sup- 
ported by the sacrifice. He who is reluctant to offer, therefore, 
retards the very progress of Brahman. 

^ cf. Chapter*vi, p. 231. 



in. 29: The dual distinction between the dtman and the gunas 
on the one hand, and the karmdni (works) on the other, according 
to Sridhara. 

Metaphysically i God '^dwells” in all beings; here, however, we 
are concerned with the specific indwelling hy grace) and this 
contrast pertains to developed Bhakti theology : — 

'The host of creatures, O King, is connected with Vishnu in 
two ways, 

In general, on the one hand, and again in particular. 

In general, all that lives and moves is united with him, 

In so far as it originally sprang from him and now finds life 
through him. 

No doubt this unites to him, but the bond is insufficient to 
bestow salvation, 

And to free from the fetters of samsdra. For this there must 
exist a better unity. 

This is the second mode, which I indicated to thee as the 

III. 33-43: With vv. 30-32 the doctrine hitherto expounded 
had reached a definite conclusion. It appears to me that, 
originally, iv. i ff. immediately followed these verses, iv. i 
obviously resumes "this My teaching" as from iii. 32, so that 
the intervening Section is a digression. In any case we must 
say of vv. 33-35 what, according to Schrader, ^ Abhinavagupta 
asserts in another connection — atra kecid asambaddhdh slokdh 
kalpitdh: — "here some unconnected verses have been composed" ; 
for V 33 has not the remotest reference to what precedes, while 
it contradicts all the essential implications of Character- 
since this is certainly not resigned when confronted by "Nature", 
but demands that it be overcome and presupposes that this can 
be done. Similarly v. 34 is antithetic to v. 33, because the 
former inculcates fighting the "enemy"; v. 35, again, is com- 
pletely unconnected {asambaddha). It appears to me, therefore, 
that these three verses are disconnected Notes that have invaded 
the Text from the margin. 

in. 34: cf. Sanatsujdtaparvan, 42, 17#.: "lurks around men, 
spying out their weak points, as the hunter stalks the game".® 

IV. 6: In view of its intentionally paradoxical character, this 

^ cf, my Vishnu-Ndrayanat p. 43. 
® Deussen, op. c%t.» p. 13. 

2 op. at.f p. 8. 



verse must perhaps be given a stili more pointed expression. 
“Though I am unhorn and unchanging, the Lord of Those who 
have come into existence' (and therefore Myself absolutely 
distinct from all that has come into existence) — I becomeJ' 
That He Who exists beyond all becoming and changing should 
Himself enter into becoming is an impossibility, and contradicts 
His “Nature" as that of Him Who has not become, of the un- 
changeable, of the Lord above and beyond all that has become. 
But God “is superior" to [adhishthdya) His own “Nature" and 
is not subjected to it, while His Mdyd is “the capacit}?- to render 
the impossible actual". Thus He can condition His own Nature 
[svdm 'prakntim adhishthdya), and by His own Mdyd (dtmamd- 
yayd) enter into becoming. 

This verse is therefore not at all “docetic”, as- has been sug- 
gested; and the becoming of the One Who has not become is 
not “mere Maya' in the sense of “mere appearance", but is 
wholly realistically intended in the sense of an actual miracle 
of Yoga-Mdyd, quite correctly identified by some commentators 
with the sva-icchd — the “free Will" — of God, Who is not bound 
even by the predicate of the Absoluteness of His own “Nature". 

Siidhara, himself a monist, here explains prakntim adhishthdya 
as “free from subservience to Karma" {karma-pdratantrya- 
rahita), while for him Mdyd is by no means merely apparent 
activity but “capacity, consisting in unerring knowledge, 
strength, power, etc” connected with one's own free volitional 
resolution. Elsewhere he calls it “the supernatural and wholly 
incomprehensible iaUi of the Supreme Lord". 

IV. 10 : madbhdvam: this does not mean that “they are annihi- 
lated in Me", but that “they attain the same supernatural mode 
of Being that I too possess". Siidhara, again as a monist, 
also expounds madbhdvam in terms of mat-sdyujyam — ^union as 

IV. II : This expresses my own impression ; according to Sridhara, 
vartma is equivalent to mama hhaj ana-mar gam — ^the way of 
worshipping Me. 

IV. 13: The sense of the context 11-14 is: — “I impart eternally 
to the whole Universe, I create the \^orld of the four castes, and 
in so doing I have regard to hoGxgunas and Karman. Therefore 
I am ever active. And nevertheless am I a hon-worker'." 

IV. 23 : With this c/. iv. 10 — jndna-tapas. In accordance with 
this, here too in this passage it i^ a question of the jhdna-yajna, 



as V, 33 also proves. It is not at all concerned with offering 
“action” as sacrifice, but of employing jMna as yajna: — c/. 
pidna-yajnas in v. 28; yajna is then not so much “sacrifice”, 
regarded as an offering to the gods, but has the ancient sense of 
a magical act of power, like tapas, yajna is a capacity for magical 

The author of this Treatise is both sdnkhya and yogin, and his 
sdnkhya aspect is once more proclaimed by this accentuation 
of jndna. 

IV 25 : yajnena eva: here what is instrumental, as so frequently 
happens, assumes the meaning of “as”. Certainly these people 
do not sacrifice raw offerings, nor only to the lower devas, but 
sacrifice with the correct ritual in the ''Brahman fire”, neverthe- 
less they perform their sacrifice “only as” yajna, that is to say 
without at the same time transforming the sacrificial act into 
meditative Brahman mysticism, as brahmans do. Thus they 
fail to do what v. 24 demands — ^to contemplate the act of sacrifice 
itself as Brahman. 

The handily a Samhitd, v. 2, 18, runs as follows* — “In the 
beginning of the second World era the threefold Veda appeared, 
and (in consequence of this) it was provided with the sacrificial 
fire. But in primitive times 'yajnena yajharn ayajan' ”; which 
here means: “The sacrifice was performed 'simply as a sacrifice’, 
but without doing this in the ritual form of the fire offering”; 
here too, then, what is instrumental takes the form of “as”. 

IV 26 * Moral-ascetic allegorizmg of the idea of sacrifice. 

IV. 265: The sense is obscure. In view of the graduated series, 
something profounder than what precedes must here be implied. 
The AnugUd, 20, 23, may provide some illumination, where 
objects are subjectively produced, then cast into the “sacrificial 
fire” of perception, and by this method projected into the outer 
world. Is it possible that the present passage means the reverse 
of all this? — ^that the objects are burnt, while they are at the 
same moment meditatively recognized as being mere subjective 
products of sense imagery? 

IV. 30: The experts in hungering and the fasting ascetics, who 
by their last lower their owA vitality, and finally go so far as to 
lose their lives by deliberately fasting to death. But why 
prdneshu ? has this been inserted merely from delight in mystically 
sounding words ? 

IV. 32: Earlier, in iii. 14, i5,%ays the same Glossographer:— 

The Or^%nal Gita T 



'The sacrifice is produced by (ritual) action, (ritual) action from 
the Vedas, the Vedas from Aksharam Brahma' \ 

With respect to sacrifice, this Brahmanic theologian first of 
all regards all religious practices as '‘yajfias" and then asserts 
that, as such, they are all to be derived from Vedic ritual ''action’'. 
And for him the redeeming knowledge is — Brahmanic orthodoxy 
about sacrifice i His philosophy of sacrifice depends on the 
allegorizing of puma as a magically powerful yapia, and he 
attempts to reinterpret th.ejndna of the sdnkhya-yogin ad matorcm 
gloriam of his Brahman, his Veda and the Vedic saciifice wisdom, 
which the writer of this Treatise himself, however, had rejected 
as "flowery" priestty learning. 

V. Treatise V. This is a supplement to VII, which reached 
its clearly defined conclusion in iv. 42. Its Theme is to be found 
in vv, 1-6. ''Sdnkhya and Yoga are connected together", as the 
obvious supplementary justification of the standpoint actually 
assumed by the writer of the previous Treatise There follows 
the proof of the Theme by drawing parallels between the positions 
held by sdnkhya snidyogin respectively: — 

(i) : The first comparison * 

(a) . The sdnkhya' s attitude, 8, 9. . 

(b) . That of theyogw, ii, 12. 

(ii) : The second comparison* 

{a). The attitude of the sdnkhya, 13-17. 

(&). And of theyogzH, 23, 27-29. 

V. i: The term Karma-Yoga has a double meaning: — in the 
more general sense of Yoga, as exercise or practice, it may denote 
simply the practice of works in general; this, quite naturally, 
Krishna does not praise, but extols the doing of works as a 
yogtn. In this its strict implication Karma-Yoga is the Yoga 
which, as distinct from the intellectual procedure of the sdnkhya, 
entails the Nirvikdram Karma of technical Yoga discipline 
together with severe schooling of the will, and which (on the 
other hand) authenticates the latter in and by accomplishing 

V. 2: Here the sannydsin of the ordinary type continues to be 
tolerantly admitted as being on the path to salvation; but the 
next Treatise unmistakably corrects this tolerance as excessive. 

V. 19: Or "Has already gained The whole world". 




Treatise VI: Bhakti Theology, associated with Sa-Isvara- 
Yoga as the subordinate stage. 

(A). The Subordinate Stage: VI. 

(j). Editorial connection with Treatise V Genuine 
Sannyasa in Yoga, 1-9. 

(2). The systematic discipline of technical Yoga: 10-22. 

(j). Helpful factors towards Yoga: 23-36, omitting 27-32. 

(4). Specific questions by the Yoga disciple 37-46. 

{B), The Higher Stage: Bhakti Theology as developing Visish- 
tddvatta: vi. 47-ix. 

(1) . Correct knowledge: vii. 1-14. 

(2) . He* who knows truly, and he who does not know: 


(g). Eschatology^’ 

[а) . Individual eschatology: viii. $-16. 

(б) . Cosmic eschatology and the transcosmic realm of 

salvation: 17-21. 

(c) Conclusion of (a) and (6) : 22. 

(4) . God’s Freedom from the Law of Karman: ix. 7-9. 

(5) . The Relations between Bhakti faith, unbelief, and 

. partial belief. 10-25 

(6) . Praise of Bhakti religion, which imparts blessedness: 


VI. 3 : This Gloss completely inverts the sense of this Treatise 
by obviously seeking to save the old Sannyasa ideal and patch 
it up. It has in view the stage of the Parivrajaka, a religious 
community which, even more than Yoga, abandons all action 
and by no means only interest in action and reward. In order 
to adapt itself to, and immunize in advance, the approaching 
term Yogarudha, it introduces the distinction between desiring 
to rise and having risen {drumkshu and drudha), and asserts 
that only he who ascends acts, but that he who has already 
ascended acts no more. 

VI. 6: Or iatrutvc {sati): '"since there exists enmity on the 
part of the not-self (against the self), let the self behave as the 
enemy (of the not-self)”. 

VI, 7: Here, as the second line of the stanza plainly shows, 
samkiia (concentrated) should be divided into sama-dUta— 
“firmly directed, to equality”, cf Petersburger Wdrterbuch, adha i, 



'To direct to something”. This verse, therefore, is not "in a 
hopeless condition”, as Otto Schrader believes, but is perfectly 
clear. For whenever one has overcome the self, or in other 
words his senses, and is therefore in the psychical state of the 
equilibrium of sdnii, then, as has already been explained a 
hundred times, one is sama-dhita with regard to the "pairs” (to 
which the second half of the verse refers), that is to say, focused 
upon equanimity and firmly directed thereto : parama-dtman (the 
highest dtman) becomes clear also. He who overcomes body, 
senses and the play of thought conquers "himself” too; but the 
self that subdues "itself” is vastly different from the "self” to 
be subjugated, and is far sublimer (parama); cf, v, 5. In this 
connection parama-dtman is simply equivalent to adhydtman — 
V dtman par preference — "the essential self” or (as it is generally 
translated) the real self as contrasted with the bodily, sensuous 
or merely psychical self. 

VI 15 : Matsamstha means not "dependent on Me” but "abiding 
in Me”, The I^vara of Sa-Uvara-Yoga, properly speaking, is 
not the bestower of peace of soul, but exists therein as the 
"Supreme Spirit” eternally freed from Karman, and as eternally 
satisfied [dptakdma) also eternally at "peace”. The yogin, too, 
attains similar peace. In the first place, then, this term does 
not as yet transcend the frontiers of mere Sa-Isvara-Yoga, and 
must not, thus far, be understood as BJiakti theology. With 
this vv. 20, 21, are in complete agreement: here the goal of Yoga 
is not joy in the Lord, and in community with Him, but the 
blessedness of the self in itself. Here too the end is only the 
Kaivalyam (isolation from the world), although at the same time 
the Kaivalyam of the yogin is positive bliss, while that of the 
sdnkhya is merely the absence of pain. In this connection, also, 
this goal of absoluteness is, quite as a matter of course, called 

VI. 20-22 : I have employed demonstratives in order to clarify, 
to some extent, the tumultuous and intertwined relatives of this 
dithyrambically agitated glorification of the happiness of Yoga, 
ending in a semi-anacolouthop. The longer portion closes with 
an elegant play of words om Yoga^zs equivalent to "conjunc- 
tion”, which cannot be at all adequately rendered in any European 

VI, 32: Perhaps dtma-aupamyena means "equanimity within 
oneself”, in the sense of "remaihing always like oneself”, or (in 



different terms) not permitting one's temperamental attitude to 
be changed by either pain or pleasure. Thus the translation 
should run: — ‘'He who, remaining always like himself, perceives 
one and the same in joy and woe, must be esteemed as the 
greatest of all yogins'\ In that case, only the yogin's general 
mood of equanimity would be praised. But in view of the 
preceding pretentious verses, this would be a veritable anti- 
chmax. Sridhara's alternative interpretation is doubtless cor- 
rect: he takes dtma-aupamya to mean “equality of others with 
oneself', and adds — “Among all the yogtns who worship Me" 
(to w^hom V, 31 had referred) “I look upon him as foremost who 
is benevolently inclined to all beings For it follows from the 
equality of everyone with all others that as I value and experience 
well-being and* love, sorrow and pain, so too do all others. He 
who, thus perceiving the equality that subsists between all, 
desires only love to ail (]ust as he desires love to himself) but 
ill to none, him I (God) esteem most highly." This would be 
precisely the regula aurea Christi in its positive form, except that 
He speaks of doing and not merely of wishing; c/. The AnugUd, 
19, 3, ‘*'He who treats all beings as himself. . . 

It IS clear that, in this Gloss, the “infinite happiness" of mere 
Y oga-Kaivalyam in v. 21 is to be reinterpreted m the sense of 
Advaita. But here it is a matter of a peculiar type of Advaita, 
which I have previously discussed.^ It is theistic Advatta, 
penetrated by Bhakti, which emphatically protests (in v. 30) 
against “being lost", that is to say against submergence into an 
impersonal Brahman and an impersonal Brahma-Ntrvdna; 
vv, 29-32 are probably the most beautiful in the entire GUd, 

Nevertheless it is equally obvious that this Section (27-32) is 
only a Gloss. For the systematic writer of the Treatise does not 
introduce his passage, outbidding mere Sa-livara-Yoga, until 
Chapter VII, where it is specifically and fully presented at its 
close after he has first of all discussed special problems concerning 
Yoga itself. He would not have anticipated himself in any way 
that so deeply perturbs his own arrangement of the material. 
Finally, v. 33 is too obviously connected with v, 26. 

VI. 46: Tilt jhdnim: — th% sanity as, that is to say. This is a 
polemic against the previous Treatise; as contrasted with the 
earlier author, this writer dechnes to associate Sdnkhya with 

^ Deussen, p. 898. 

2 P. 166. 



Yoga. In this instance, therefore, the yogin is exalted above the 
three groups of penitents, philosophers and sacnficers, while 
again, in v, 47, the hJiakta is ranked higher than the yogin. 

VII. i: While the mere Sa-Uvara-yogm certainly possesses 
knowledge of God, only in Bhakh religion is this knowledge 
possessed “without doubt and entirely". At this point the 
writer of the Treatise is evidently about to begin a new and 
higher phase, which he delimits as against what has already been 

vii. 3: “For Siddhi '': — that is for the stage of perfection such 
as Yoga already knows of and mediates 

VII. 4: God’s lower Nature is distinguished from His Higher; 
the latter is “the embracing the psychic-spiritual in the 

Universe (conceived as an infinite number of indmdual psychic- 
spiritual subjects). Penetrated and animated by Him is the 
“lower" Nature also, the realm of the “material" or, still better, 
the “apathetic" or the “dull", although to this “apathy" pertain 
factors which we should not attribute to the “material",. such as 
tndnyas, manas and buddhi. These however are “dull" or 
“torpid" because, in accordance with Hindu Psychology, the 
senses, understanding and reason effect nothing more than 
contact with their objects, apperception proper, on the other 
hand, results only when the jndna of the spiritual subject “illu- 
minates" them.^ To these belongs also the ahamkdra — the 
“maker of the ^go"; and my own translation of this term as 
“individuality" or “the thought of I" is a mere makeshift, since 
this ahamkdra is by no means the ego itself, nor does it imply 
that God, or the soul, is not an “I"; ahamkdra is that principle 
by virtue of which the spiritual ego relates objects to itself, 
especially the body that is connected with it, in this way attribut- 
ing them “to itself" and saying “I" and “my" with refei'ence to 
them. More specifically, it is the (spurious) identification of the 
body, thus “personified", with the spiritual subject, as such. 

This factor of appropriation “to the ego*' is regarded, together 
with the senses, understanding and reason, as an independent 
factor and organ. For the present author, as also in the doctrine 
of mature philosophical qualified Monism [ViiisMddvaiia), fiva 
is identical with the dtman; it is the possessor of jndna and, at 
the same moment, the vital principle in all that is bodily. 

^ cf. p. 300 xin 33. 



VII. 6, 7: This God of personal BJiakh is in every respect a 
Universal God also, or m other words the God Who includes the 
Universe within Himself, projects it from, and resumes it within. 
Himself, that is from, and into. His own * 'Nature'’. God and 
Universe, however, are not identical — they are One not analyti- 
cally but synthetically; cf p 14 
VII 8™ii * This again is a Gloss it maintains something wholly 
different from the Text itself For this means the God Who, by 
virtue of His Nature, is "aE in all", while the Gloss accords 
with the standpoint of Treatise VIII, which asserts not that 
God is everything universally but that, by means of specific 
hypostases {vibluliis), He is the optimum in things and in all 
classes of things , and this presupposes a totally dif erent point of 
view The true sense of v. 7 of the Text itself is much more clearly 
resumed m v. 12, where by no means only the optimum, which 
could indeed be only sattvam, but also and equally rajas and tamas, 
is involved, m His Mdyd — that is in His creative Power. 

VII 10* As the superiority of what is superior^ 
viL 12* Here blidva must imply ‘'Being”, otherwise 12b loses 
all meaning. 

VIL 13. Hie gnnas are what we should call "constituents, or 
factors, of Nature” The purblind world sees the play of Nature's 
constitucats, but it does not perceive the divine player of this 
gw;za-play; it lets itself be "deceived”. 

vii 14: My May a. As I have already observed, Garbe trans- 
lated this as "the Universe that appears”, or "the apparent 
Universe”, in the sense of some illusion^ But here, on the 
contrary, Mdyd is God's creative and miraculous Power. If the 
mind, With its feeble vision, permits itself to be deluded, then 
Mdyd is indubitably a "deceiver”, since it appears under the 
veil of the gums. Yox even while God sets the play of the gunas 
into operation, He also conceals Himself behind it; and thus for 
him who is "deluded” Nature becomes a larva Dei. In this 
sense the doctrine of God as May in, and of Mdyd as the deceiver, 
is valid from even the realistic-theistic point of view; cf. Ndraia- 
pdneardira, il i, 22:— 

"One only is the L4>ui always, in all and in each. All 
(beings) have come into existence by His action* but they are 
deceived by Ilis MdydT 

1 P. 216. 



This is a massive Realism, and yet the Maya is a '"deceiver”. 
Still clearer is z; 355-36: — 

“The Vishiu-Mdya, -the eternal, the sublime, impersonates 
(divine) reason and embraces in its Being all (divine) powers 
It is difficult to apprehend, (for) through it all are deceived 
— except Krishna’s hhaktasd* 

Mdyd becomes deceptive mainly through ahanikdra — because 
man regards the body as being his own self, or considers created 
things as his own and then directs his senses to them as objects 
of enjoyment. If the body and the things of sense are conceived 
thus, then they are ''Mdyd”, as is the hay crop that is swiftly 
over — worthless, fraud, deception. So again The Brihadbrahma 
Samhtid, 3, 35: — 

“If a soul, being what is veiled by the curtain of Mdyd, 
because of ahamkdra is an enjoyer of Mdyd things, instead of 
seeking its salvation in God: if it is stricken by the arrows of 
Mdyd, is without God and directs itself towards Mdyd: if, 
forgetful of its Brahman nature, it becomes entangled m the 
three "snares’, becomes dehled and so participates in evil: 
then, although it originally shares My Being, it must suffer 
in samsdra. But if it realizes that the whole Universe, both 
spiritual and non-spiritual, and what is compounded from 
these, exists in Brahman, and so has its Being in Me. alone, as 
^ in the (Highest) Self, then it overcomes the darkness of ignor- 
ance, attains My own Being and comes to Me, since it takes 
its refuge in Me alone (instead of in the creature). Such a 
one hews apart the Mdyd consisting of the three (Nature-) 
gunas, ascends the path of the ray, etc,, and attains the state 
of the (supermundane) sattva-guna — that is of Suddha-sattvam, 
which is also the BJidvd of God.”^ 

VII. 15: The “deception” is based on the fact that God is 
concealed behind the apparently independent play of the gunas ; 
nevertheless it arises just because men, owing to "an asmic 
(diabolical) nature”, permit themselves to be deprived of the 
capacity to see beyond this guna play. The "asuric nature” is 
constituted by everything which is contrary to good conduct 
(sad-dedra) , but especially and alj/ays iJLie ahamkdra with respect 
to the body and the enjoyment connected tlierewith; cf, once 
more The Brihadbrahma Samhitd, 3, 9: — 

1 cf, pp. 73, 180, 221. 



‘‘He who imagines that ‘I am the body’ faUs a prey to 
Maya. Seven veils has Maya, which constitutes this World- 
egg (the Universe): and with these it embraces him who 
postulates ahamkam with regard to his body. But whoever 
is free from this identification of himself with his body (and 
its carnal interests), and whoever realizes himself as belonging 
to Brahman, attains to Brahman” 

Yih 19. ‘^Vasiidevais alF’: for the theistic Bhakh theologian 
this is in fact the highest formula. God everything. But 
this in no sense implies that Universe and God are interchange- 
able ideas. The Bnhadhrahma Samhitd, which is strictly 
personalistic, gives the following very subtle definition in 2, 25:— 
sarvam eva aham evam ca; na ca aham aJiam eva ca: — 'i am both 
alLthings and I am not I”. God says *— 1 am not merely T' (but 
at the same time I include in My Being the Being of the Universe). 
It immediately adds: — 

'In so far as, and because, the Universe has its foundation 
in Me alone, I am, as the One Wlio has no second, the Highest; 
precisely because the Ihuverse has its place solely in Me, I 

So too as regards the relation of the individual soul to God. 
When (in 4, 26) the soul has reached the highest throne, God 
asks' it — , 

"Who art thou then?'" 

In quite orthodox terms the soul replies* — 

Brahma asmt”: — "I am Brahman.” 

"Then how^ canst thou be Brahman, since thou art after all 
but a sesha — a remnant, a worthless thing 
It answers again : — 

"I am a predteate; thou art he who bears and sustains me 
as predicate." 

This BraJmum existence is still further explained: — 

"Without thee 1 could not exist in any way; thou art my 
preserver, my patron, my impeller, who givest me all my 
understanding. Thorefme am I Brahman — I am nought 
wluitsoever in myself." 

And this Brahman existenge culfijinates thus: — 

"Thine am I, tlune am I, tiiine am I (and nothing more); 

this is ever true." 

This means that the knowledge that one is Brahman is identical 
with the realization that oneself is nothing at all, but that God 



is all in all. It is a consciousness of humility towards God, Who 
is everything, and is myself also, and Who alone truly is. So 
too in the formula: — Vasudeva is all.’' 

IX 8: "'Directing My own Nature”, Sridhara 

IX. II : Here the sense is the same as m vn 24. avyaktam 
vyaUim ap annum: "'the imperceptible having become percep- 

X. 9* This Gloss presupposes an already fully developed social 
life of the bliakta sect, together with the customs peculiar to it 
and the intimate mutual intercourse between the faithful that 
is emphasized here as one means of salvation The community 
itself, still further, becomes a ""church”, and life in this church a 
necessary condition for salvation. With reference to this we 
find in Ndrada Pmcardtra, ii. 2, 2 jf. ' — 

""It is the sangJia (the community) of the Kvislma-bkaktas 
that, in the first place, makes Bhakti perfect. As the tender 
shoots of trees and shrubs sprout in the rain showers but dry 
up in the sun’s heat, even so do new branches grow on the 
tree of Bhakh oving to the intercourse of the bltaktds and 
wither through dealings with non-bhaktas. Hence the prudent 
man always cultivates the societ\' of bhaktas, but avoids 
communication with non-bhaktas as he eschews the snake.” 

XI. 17: The bearer of the crown, mace and discus is. Krishna, 
' always m his human form, but these expressions do not denote 

God as seen in His supernatural manifestation. As in Arjuna’s 
words. — ""He who is known to me as the bearer of the crown, 
the mace and the discus, I now perceive in wholly different 
guise, that is suddenly, like a colossal light” (out of which, 
evidently, the spectacle described in vv. 19 ff, gradually develops). 
At the same time, however, ik 17 depicts the natural beginning 
of Arjuna’s experience — ^the vanishing of the crovm-, mace- and 
discus-bearer behind the newly emerging form of the Lord 
(rupam aisvaram); and in that case vv, 13, 15 and 16 are in- 
apposite, and presumably a Gloss, while v, 16 clearly anticipates 
vv, 19 and 33. The latter, nevertheless, occupy their rightful 
position within a consistent account, which vv, 15 and 16. fail 
to do. ^ ^ 

XII. 6: Here dhydyantas certainly means not ""to meditate” 
in the technical sense, but ""to bear piously in mind”; cf. Ndrada 
Pdnearitra, i. 2, 36: — ^""The vaishnavas keep Knshna in mind, as 
Knshna also keeps the vaishnavas dn his mind”. Parallel with 



this is the preceding line: — ''Krishna’s prana (life) is directed 
to his bhaktas, as the bhaktas' prana is directed to Krishna. 
Krishna lives’ in his bhaktas, and the'bhaMas live’ in Krishna”.^ 
Both expressions are synon3nnous with intimate reciprocity 
based upon Bhakii. This meaning of dhyana recurs in the 
controverted v. 12: such dhyana is just the "devout mind” which 
is "more excellent’ than all loity jiidna and all irksome technique 
{ahhyasa) ; while from a pious attitude of this kind there easily 
follows the renunciation (otherwise so difficult) of all the fruit of 
action, as v, 12 teaches. Similarly in Ndrada Pdncardtra, i. 3, 39, 
dhydyaie is synonymous with hhajate. 

XII. 9: cf Brihadbrahma SamMtd, 3, 6* yoga-ahhydsa-prabhd- 
vatas, by virtue of Yoga discipline. 

*xii. 10 ff}. Abhinavagupta confirms my own interpretation of 
this passage as a Treatise on Prapatti: — (i). He regards matkar- 
mdni as equivalent to bhagavatkarmani as pujd, japa, svddhydya, 
koma, etc,: — worship, muttering prayers, private study and 

(a). If this is too difficult for anyone, because he is a layman 
and uneducated — "because he is ignorant of what the canonical 
books say, and knows not the systematic recitation of the tradi- 
tion [krama), then leave all that to Me, tmsh^ig thyself absolutely 
to Me”. ' The latter is his explanation of madyogam dsnta, which 
Sridhara also equates to "taking refuge in Me alone”. He' 
continues: — "In this sense I have alread}^ written the following 
verses in my Laghu-praknyd'* — The Easy Way to Salvation — 

. . However I have heedlessly digressed from the path 
of true insight, mayest thou pardon me, 0 Lord of all, who 
art full of compassion, for though I was certainly foolish, yet 
was I thy bhakta and 'troubled in spirit’ [drta, repentant). 
Bringing to thee such praise, [anena stotra-yogena) , I trust 
myself to thee. But not thus would I try to account myself 
one who deserves thy grace.” 

In the "divine books” [paramesvareshu siddhanta-sdslreshu, 
which obviously included Prapatti-Bhakti doctrines), this is the 
sense of "to trust oneself to”; and thus in these works the term 
iltma-mvcdana (offering ^nesell» to the Deity) must have taken 
the place of Prapatti. 

(3). Further, he interprets jndnam, in v. 12, simply as dvesa 
^ cf %he Gitd, X. 9 



(Apte's Dtctionary, devotedness), the directing of the spirit 
towards God, while dhydna is for him blmgavadmayatvam — the 
being full of God, or a spirit that is filled with God. Hence 
jndnam is ''better” than ahhydsa, since the latter is only the 
means to the former; dhydna, again, is "better” than jndna, 
which is completed only in the pious spirit's possession of God 

{4), Thus, in v. 12, he correctly interprets the relation of the 
abandonment of the fruit {phala 4 ydga) to dhydndt not in the 
sense of "better than”, which is meaningless, but as being the 
result of the renunciation of reward by the "devout mind”. 

XII. 20: '‘Dharmya-amritam tdand': literally, that is, "this 
nectar corresponding to the dharma'\ or "this sacred nectar”. 
But since a "nectar” cannot be "followed”, the term must be 
intended as a Title for this short Bhakti-sdstram; a sdstram 
(treatise) can be "followed”. Writers liked to give their Treatises 
such ornate and pompous Titles; thus Saddharma Pundarlka 
means ''The Lotus of the True Religion'*. 

At the close of The Ndrada Pdficardiram fy. 11,28, we fin'd : — 
"Thus have I proclaimed 'this pimta-amriiand on the Earth. 
They who study this Msiram and practice it, etcT This too is 
meant as a kind of Title; and in ii. i, 14, again, jmhidmritam is 
evidently employed as the Title of a treatise (sdstram) that was 
taught at the very beginning of creation. 

xiii. 28 : We find here a further example of the method adopted 
by the Giossographers of immunizing, tn advance, by their own 
special interpretation, some term that occurs later on in the 
Text By the expression "sees truly” in v. 29, the wniter of the 
Treatise means simply the t^'pical Sdnkhya-viveka — the Sdnkhya 
discrimination. But the author of the Gloss anticipates this 
expression and inserts in it his own mystical viewpoint, so as 
subsequently to effect an unconscious association with this. 
And his reader falls into the trap! 

XIII. 33: The Epistemology of Sdnkhya: only "illumination” 
by means of jndna converts the activities of the senses, of manas 
and of huddhi, into processes of knowledge, and the objects into 
the objects of knowledge,^ 

XIII. 34: In this Sa-Isvara-Sdnkhya, as in Sa-Isvara-Yoga, 
God is only the helper to the goal, but obviously not the goal 

1 Calcutta, 1865. 

^ cf p. 294 on VII. 4 



itself; the latter is the Kmvalyam (ecstatic isolation) of the 
atman released from Praknh by the discriminative process of 

XIV. 3: cf. Moksha-dharma, 8509^: — "'When Isvara awakes, 
when night ends, he once more transforms the Aksharam Brahma 
and lets it go forth from himself. . . Although this passage 
is more ancient than our own it resembles it, since here too 
Brahman is regarded as being subordtnate to l^vara, and as 
Nature, fashioned by the Lord as Ruler. On the use of Brahman 
as equivalent to Prakritv cf, Otto Schrader in Festmhe fur 
H, Jacobi,^ 

XV 16: This is a very free use of the word Purusha, We may, 
however, compare Moksha-dharma, 8678, where the term atman 
is' even more freely employed. In the present instance the two 
forms of Praknh itself, both as developed and as undeveloped, 
are called 'The two dtmdnas''\ cf, again 8672. 

XVI. iS: According to Sankara, "as witnesses of their evil 
life'h. But this can hardly be correct. Rather does the writer 
of this Treatise evidently share the view that God, abiding in 
His own and some other body, is Himself affected by the torments 
afflicting the body. 

xvn. i: This is a 'clumsy attempt to combine (A) and (B).® 
In what 'precedes there has been no reference to the three gunas, 
nor any occasion to enquire about them. The succeeding^ 
passage, however, contains not a single syllable in answer to 
the question as to what becomes of him who possesses "faith 
without works”. 

XVII. 2 : This expression is obviously no reply to the question 
of V. I, since "faith without works”, about which Arjuna osten- 
sibly enquired, could be of only the rajas type. It is, on the 
other hand, clear that there begins here an entirely new and 
independent catalogue of virtues, with faith at its head, 

XVIII. 20: This is certainly not the Prakriti of the smkhyas, 
since to behold this could not possibly be of sattva type, but the 
One real {sad eva ekam), which evidently appertained to the 
undent doctrine of the three gunas ; and these are in fact typified 
in the sixth Prapdthakm of ^he Chdndogya Upanishad. Our 
author is a naive monist; cf, xvi. 18. 

xvni. 34:’ Dharma,^s associated with pleasure and gain {kdma 

1 Deussen, p. 335. 

% Pp. 272 j5^. 

3 cf pp. 1^6 ff. 



and artha) is not law, but desert {mentum), in view of which 
man hopes for a heavenly reward. 

XVIII. 36: The sage’s serenity is attained by prolonged disci- 
pline in strenuous self-control This begins by being bitter, 
but the resvit is sweet. Further, it is a stable condition which 
no pain can ever interrupt, and in which pain is thus actually 
obliterated, while on the other hand, after every sensuous delight 
it returns anew. 

xviii. 50. The preceding Treatise was a Wisdom Treatise, 
here jMna is to be understood as in xvi. i. 

XVIII. 5 ijf. * The ideal depicted is not that of the a\^erage 
hhakta, but of the BJiakti-sddhu (saint) who, actually, is a 

XVIII 53: Here the ''Brahman state” is obviously ^preliminary 
stage. It denotes the ''miraculous condition” of those wdio have 
overcome sense and the world, and dwell in the serenity of 
passionless spiritual peace. 

XVIII. 55: In this passage, Bhahti too remains a preliminary 
phase, while the real ultimate means of salvation is jndna; in 
V. 56, however, this relation is reversed in the sense of the resultant 
Prapatti-BhakU . 

XVIII. 60: "the Power of Destiny”. Nature and Karman 
reciprocally condition one another; out of one’s Karman pro- 
"ceeds his nature, and out of his nature new Karman : — backw’'ards 
and forwards, therefore, in endless causal sequence. 

XVIII. 66 "The laws”, that Arjuna had defended in i. 40, 41, 
43, 44; “the sins” that he had feared in i. 36; the "sorrow” 
which, in ii. 8, was withering his senses and whose effect upon 
himself he did not realize. This conclusion of Krishna’s speech 
does not prescribe any general doctrines of salvation for every- 
one, but reverts almost pedantically to the specific durgdni of 
Arjuna’s concrete vtskdda, based as this is on the actual situation.^ 

1 On d'lirgdni cf p. 1^2. 


Gottheit and Gottheiten d&r Aner, 

Vishnu-N dray ana: Texte zur indtschen Gottesmystik. 

Siddhitraya des Ydmiina-mum: in Logos, 1928; Zeitschrift fur 
Rehgtonspsychologie, 1929, Zeitschrift fur Theologie und 
Kirche, 1929. 

Siddhdnfa des Rdmdmija. 

Diptkd des Nivdsa. 

Das Gefuhl des Uberwelthchen. 

Mysticism East and W esL 

India's Religion of Grace and Christianity, 


Action, 48/, 55/, 58/, 91. 96, 
105/., 109/, 113, 131, 171, 
1S8 f , 194, 206 / 

Acyuta. 22, 33, 36, 116, 255 

/I (i/f ibhuta, A dh i bh utam, 



Adhidaiva, Adhidawam, 


21(3 f. 

Adhiyajna, AdhiyajAas, 

70 f: 


AdhyaUtunn, Adhydinian, 40,70/., 

• 139 f: I4^> 154. 2^9/- 

Advaita, 65, 14S, 151, 163/., 
16S/, 174, 177 f; 182, 195, 
.214/.. 235, 293 
Agni, 82, 88, 152 
Ahamktira, i.\'i f , 15 1/”- iCo/ , 
108, 183. 198, 278, 294/ 
Ai.^i'imi, Aisraiymn, 122 f ,224/ , 


AjASna, 60, 93, 98 
Aksharatn,- 71, 85, 88/, 170, 218, 

285 f. 

AlmsgiMiig, 105/., 193 
An-livara, 61, 130, 208 
Anugita, 15, 157. 183. ^90 f ■ 
205 / , 289. 293 

Ar]una, lo/., 15, 21/, 34/, 

134/-. 144/-. ■‘SS. 168/, 

176, 196, 203. 231/, 242/. 
. 4 sa^, 108 

Asceticism, 54/'., 105/., 117. ^93 
Aivattha iig tree, 82, 100/. 
Ataiaxia, 47, 128 

50, 1)0, 81, 1)0, no, 125, 
jt40, 146 f., 155, 166, 184/., 
220, 238/ 

Autumn, 290/, 267/. 

Being, 7 1/ , 77. 95. 1°°. “8, 

X2I, 140, 149, 180/., 184/., 
197, 221, 224. 254, 260, 2J5 

J'ks Gita 

Bhakta, Bhakh, g, 12 f , 61, 67/, 

73. 76, 78/, 90/, 97/'. 

ii3/,i3o,i43/., 148,154/, 
162/. 168/., 172/, 177/., 
185/., 195/, 199, 209/. 
213/., 219/, 223. 228/.. 
234/, 264/., 273/., 291/.- 
Bhakti-mdvga, i6Sf,, 211 
Bhakh-Yoga, 80, 129, 195 
Bhishma, 21 /, 35/., 86, 132, 136, 

Brahma, Brahma, 48, 50, 61/., 
70/., 85, 88, 100, 123, 152, 
181, 218, 230 

Brahma-bhava, 14, 62, 151, 182, 
195/ , 229, 282 

I Brahma-Nirvdna, 14, 182, 1994 
219, 282/ , 293 

Brahman, 10, 13/, 50, 55/., 

59/-, 65/. 70/-. 74/- 80, 

90/., 95/, 100/., 108, I 14, 

122/., 129 f,, 151, 155,16s f > 
180 /., 188, 195 /., 200, 208/., 
218/., 228, 232/., 239/., 
285/, 289, 297 
Brahman- Atman, 96, 170, 234 
Buddhi, 43/., 48/., 79, 94 ^ 

138, 183, 207, 228, 237/., 

Buddht-Yoga, 80, 114, 227/, 
238/., 283/. 

I Caste, 1 13, 193/' 

Causation, 276/. 

Character-Yog^t, 128, 163, 187, 
204 / , 209, 239, 287 
Cow of desires, 49, 82 
' Creation, Creator, 53, 75, 80/ , 
^88, 216, 223 

Delusion, 68/., 76, 99/., i 3 ^» 
142, 212/. 


306 * INDEX 

Destiny, ii, 33, no, 114, 143, 
188, 302 

Deussen, 183, 190, 192, 205/, 

234, 241, 249, 293, 301 
Devas, 27,-79 /. 

Dharma, 74/, 113, 143/, 168, 

175. 301/- 

DharmyaniYttam, 90/., 162, 167, 
175, 300 

rjhntarashtra, 10, 21/., 34/. 
Diet, 106^, 193 
Doer, III, 188, 194 
Dualism, Duality, 74/, 103/, 
186/., 222 

Duryodhana, 10/, 21/., 34/, 

Duty, 113, 143, 168 
Dvaita, , 217, 222 /. 

Equanimity, 65, 114 
Equanimity- 47, 229, 282, 


Eschatology, 212 7 , 221/. 

Evil, 52, 55, 70, loi, 1 13, 181/, 
201, 230 
47, 197 

Faith, 66, 105/., 113, 116, 178/, 
192/, 213, 219 
Field, 93/., 190, 200/ 

Fig tree, 82, 100/ , 251 
Firmness, 105/, in/. 

Freedom, 113, 128, 193, 213, 288 

Garbe, 13/, 85, 95, 148/., 154, 
165/., 182, 185, 191, I93» 
201, 207, 210 /., 213/ , 216/., 
218, 220 /,, 226, 233, 269, 
281, 295 

Glosses, 14/., 76, 208 
God,9/-> X4, 53, 69, 73, 76, 79/, 
84/,, 91, 115, 122, I2J/., 
136/., 140/., 149, 153/., 
158/., 163/., 177/., 184/., 
197, 210/, 214/., 222/., 230/., 

235, 260, 277, 288, 294/. 

Grace, n^/, 142, 145, 176, 193, 
21 1, 287 

Gums, 9, 44, 49/., 54, 68/, 
95/ > 98/ . io5 /> iio, 122, 
162/, 17S/., 1S3, 187/, 

193/, 212, 216/, 231, 282, 


Happiness, 61, 64/, 100, 105/, 
112, 182, 194, 228 
Han, 9, 28, 84, 1 16 
llariimnsa, 123/., 154, 196, 206, 
^43/. 249/, 253/., 257/, 
259 /•> ~b2 /, 268, 270, 280 
Hill, 13, 44, 51, '66, 82, no, 
117, 183 

Ignorance, 60, 95, 116 
Immanence, 186, 223, 242, 254, 

Tndra, 33, 38, 49, 77, 82, 125, 152, 
240, 243, 247, 260 / , 280 
Isvara, 12, 43, 47, 93, 102, 117, 
125, '129/., 137/., 150/., 

151/’, 161, 166, '170, 186, 
196, 20S, 210, 211, 217, 220, 
221, 227/, 269, 272, 292, 

Janaka, 50, 12 1, 230 
JMna, 52/, 57/.. 61, 76, 94/., 
98, 102, II6, 166, 174/, 

177/.. 181, 195/., 199/., 

204, 232, 23S/., 288/, 299/. 
Judgment, 105/., in, 194 

Kaivalya, Kaukdyain, 61, 130, 
199, 207/., 273, 292, 3ojf 
^Kala, 30, 87, 135, 149, 281. 

KanC 120, 238 

Karma, Karman, ^43 f , 49/‘» 
53/*» 57> ^>6. 70/.> 7S, ii3> 
124, 127/, 143, 188, 193, 
-- 205/., 210/., 220, 229/., 

-- 283, 286/., 302 


Karma-marga, 66, 130, 172/, 

Karma-Yoga, 43/., 96, 124, 130, 

195, 204/., 290 
Kama, 13, 21, 35, 86, 136 

K* Kashmir Recension, 39, 47, 
52, 60/, 64, 69, 73, 98, 102, 
105, 108, 112, 114, 115, 

280 / 

Kauravas, 10/., 34/., 132 
Knower, Knower of the Field, 
93/, 190, 200/ , 212 
Knowledge, 52/,, 56, 60, 67/, 
74/. 92/, 105/, no, 

113/ , ij6, 166, 174, 177/, 
184/, 188/, 194, 202, 208, 
212, 226, 231 / 

Krishna, 9/., 15, 34/, 43/., 
58/., 79/, 88, 116, 132/, 
142/., 147, 152/, 158/., j 
163/, 176, 194/, 211, 221, j 
227/., 235/., 239/, 242/, I 
253 /•> 258/, 262/., 266/, 
280/, 298/. 

Krishna- Arjuna-samvada, 12, 164 

Law, Laws, ii, 24, 37, 54, 100, 
115, 134, 182, 186/ , 192, 213 
Lord, 12, 43, 53, 67/., 7o/> 79/., 
84/., 96/*, 100/., 199, 224/, 
273/., 288 
Luther, 119, 218 

Magic, 117/., 128/., 151/., 183, 

196, 218, 232, 241 
Mahabhdrata, 10, 74, 132, 147, 

152/, 155/-. 249, 256 
Mahdtmyam, 140, 160, 226, 236 
Majesty, 139/, 160, 226, 236 
Manas, 63/, 82, 94, loi, 205/, 

237/- ' 

Mann, Manus, 27, 53, 79, 138, 
160, 270 

Matter, 75, 94, 146, 178/., 185 
Maya, Mdyin, 68/., 117/,, 14^, 
153, 216/., 245, 288, 295»» 


Meditation, 62/., 174 

Moksha, 109/., 154 

Moksha- dharma, 1^2 f,, is7f. 

182, 186/., 281/ , 301 
Monism, 177 /., 184/.*, 191, 223, 

Mountains, 239, 244/, 255 
Mysticism, 166, 214/ , 234 

Nara, 239, 245/, 256/., 261/^ 
Narasimha, 239/., 250, 256 • 
Narayana, 9, 12, 151, 239/., 
256/., 260/, 265/., 269/, 

Nature, 9/., 49/., 59/., 67/., 
75 /-. 95. loi/. 118, 122, 
127, 146, 184/., 205, 261/., 
274/, 302 

Nature of God, 53/, 67/., 75/., 
139, 212/, 217, 226, 294 / 
Testament, 9, 120 
Nirvana, 48, 61, 63, 77, 210/, 
219, 282 

Non-Being, 77, 88, 95, 118 
Non-Duality, 65, 151, 174, 177/., 

Nimen, 166, 234/., 241/., 250, 
255, 270 

Oldenberg, 145, 228, 249, 262, 

Old Testament, 120, 269 ^ 

OM, 67, 72/, 76, 82, 108 
Omnipotence, 119, 137, 141, 148, 

Pairs, 40, 44, 55, 58, 63, 70, loi 
Pandavas, 10/., 21/., 34/., 83, 
132, 152 

Peace, 77, 115, 156, 204, 207, 

Person, 71, 84, 100/. 

Power, 27, 33, 53, 68/., 75, 80/-, 
84/., 88, 92/., 114^ 117/- 
139, H3» 15L 156, 160, 
173, 196, 200/., 218, 223/., 



232. 239/., 247/.. 251/., 

260 / , 270, 277, 295, 302 
Prajapati, 49, 88, 269 
Pmjna , 46, 229 

Pmkntiy 59 /., 75, 98, 146, 180 /., 
191/., 199/, 206, 217, 224, 
269, 301 

Pmpaitt , 167, 173/., 178, 299 
Prapatti-Bhakti , 90/, 162/, 

r68/., 299 
PPapattt-Y oga, 195 
Pw'Ms/ja, ^41, 60, 71/, 80, 146, 
181, 189/, 199/-, 205/, 
248, 262, 271, 276, 301 

Rajas , 52, 65, 68, 98/, 105/., 
109/., 189/ 

Ramanuja, 69, 115, 159, 170, 184, 
199, 215, 226, 281 
Rapture, 127, 174, 210 
Reality, 113, 156 
Rebirth, 66, 72 /, 100, 171 
Redemption, 9, 154, 179/, 187, 

Renunciation, 49 /., 58 /., 62, 78, 
108/, 175 

Resolution, 78, 121 /. 

Roy, 153, 182, 189, 208 
Rudra, 152, 156/., 164/., 241, 
248, 253 

Sacjifice, 32, 49/, 54/., 76/., 
82, 89/, 105/., 116, 163, 
193/, 231 /■., 246/., 289/. 
Sa-Uvam-Sanhhya, 93 f., 163, 

199 . 300 f. 

Sa-hvam-^Yoga, 43/., 61, 80, 
125/,, 130, 163, 209/., 214, 
228, 291/., 300 /. 

Salvation, 58, 66, 113, 128, 176, 
180/., 190, 199/., 208/., 
212/., 275 
SamadM, 12'j, 229 
Samsdra, 9, 44/., 49/., 68, 75/., 
100/., 116, 121, 142, 171, 
180/., 185/,, 193, 200, 212,287 

Sanatsujdtapawan y 82, 183, 283, 


Sankara, 41 /, 45. 68, 77, 82, 
8g/., 1 15, 215, 283/, 301 
Sankarshana, 152, 157, 245, 


Sdnkhya , Sankliyas , 9, 38 / , 49 / , 
57/>67, 96/, 104, no, 129, 

145, 162/, 177/, 187/, 

191 /., 199, 204/., 208 / , 217, 
227/., 233, 273/, 300 

Sannydsa , Sannycmn , 49/, 78, 
92/, 105/., 108/., 113, 130, 
171,175, i8S/,I93/,203/, 
208/, 2S5, 290/ 

$ dnti , 156, 204, 207/ , 229 / , 292 
^dntipaYvaUy 189, 208, 256/, 
259, 270 

Sapieniuiy 46, 83 
Sa - Sdnkhya'Bhaktiy 97/ » 162, 


5 a^, 108/ 

Sattva , Sattvaniy 68, 98 /., 105/ , 
109X, 187/, 193, 282 
Schrader, 47, 60, 266, 280/ ,-287, 
292, 301 

Self, 60, 64 /., 69/,, 84, 96/ , 102, 
no, 121, 125, 139/ > 143/ . 
160, 210 

Siddha , S'lddhaSy SidiJii , 29 /., 
67/, 82, 86/, 98, 122, 125, 
193/., 210, 219, 277, 284 
Sin, Sins, 115, 134 
Soul, 67, 127, 184 
Spirit, 73, 81, 95/., 102, 127, 

146, 178/., 184/, 211, 235, 
248 /., 276/., 292 

Sridhara, 71, 218, 2B6 293, 298 

Srivatsa, 274/. 

Stoicism, 128, 228 
"" Stidd ^ a - saUvam , 73, 221, 296 
Suka, 1 19/, 187, 205 
Svadhafma , 105/., ii2, i93/* 

Tjimas , 68, 98/., 105/., 109/., 




Tapas, 54, 57, 117, 194, 25X, 

Tat, 108 

Tattvas, Tattvavidas, 40, 57, 

183/, 205/. 233, 279 
Tejas, 196, 251 

Theophany, ii / , 141, 148, 151/., 


Thomas, E. J., Dr., 17, 50, 149 
Thought, 43, 60, 204/ , 237/ 
Transcendence, 76, 120, 128, 156, 


Treatise- — 

1, 90/., 164/., 273 
n, 97/-. 177/- 198/ 

III, 103/, 186/., 282 

IV, 93/, 198/. 

V, 58 /., 203 / , 208 

VI, 62 / , 181, 208 / , 233 
VII; 43 / , 203/ , 227/. 
vin, 67/., 80/, 217, 233/., 


Treatises, 14, 132 /, 162/. 

Tree of Evil, 182/. 

Tydga, Tydgin, 108/., 188 

Universe, 149/, 177 f , 184/., 
212/, 221/, 225, 231/., 
250/. 254/., 260/. 270/.. 

274. 295/- 

Upamskads, 94, loi, 108, 146, 

154. 215 

Brihadamnyaka, 74, 285 
Bnhad-Jabdla, 241 
Chdndogya, 74, 268, 282, 301 

Katha, 42, 100, 12 1, 205 
Kamhiiakt, 234 
Njinsimha, 241 

Pmsna, 74 
Satva, 241 

Svetasvatam, 151, 166 

Vasudeva, 9, 32, 69, 83, 89, 116, 
151, 156/, 164, 196, 219, 
226/., 239/., 253/., 257, 
265/, 269, 297 

Vedanta, Vedantic, 10, 94, 102, 
148, 151, 179, 200/, 214^ 

Vedas, Vedic, 10, 13* 32, *44, 
49/., 56/., 66/., 72/., 76/., 
81/., 89/., 100/ , 108, I2X/., 
143/, 154, I 57 > 220, 

226/, 232, 240, 246, 253/., 
266, 289 
Hymns, 50, 149 

Vishnn, 9, 72/., 81, 86/, X51, 
156, 164/., 196, 239/, 

248/, 253, 257/., 261, 

268/., 272, 287 

Vishnu-dharma, 274/. 

Vihshtddvaita, 177/, 184, 209, 
223/, 291, 294 

Wholly other, The, 1 56, 224 

Will, 65, 120, 128/ , 144, 168, 
204/,, 208, 224, 288 


Yajna, 54/, 76, 231 /., 288/. 

Yamnnamuni, 184, 215, 226 « 

Yoga, Yogtn, 9, 43/., 49/-. 
53/-. 57/-. 62/., 67, 71/, 
78/., *91/, 96, 102, 116/ , 
145, 162 f , 166, 174, 177/-, 
187 /., 195, 204/., 208/, 218, 
224/., 227/., 233, 273/, 
277, 288 / 

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by P. T RAJU, m a , ph.d. Demy 8vo. los. 6d, 

This book deals with the problems of an idealist philosophy 
one by one: the infinite, the individual, negation, difference, 
truth and reality, the self and the mind Dr, Raju’s aim is to 
criticize Hegel from the standpoint of Bradley, and Bradley from* 
that of Sankara .'' — Church Times 


by NALINI BRAHMA Cr. 8vo. 6s. 

This book is at the same time an examination of the scientific 
"Concept of causality and a discussion of the metaphysics of the 
problem. It questions some of the fundamental assumptions of 
mencQ and raises several important philosophical issues.- In 
particular the Indian Qpneept of causality is explained, exam^yjd* 
and 'compared with corresponding Western views The author 
endeavours to show the reconciliation between freedom and 
mechanism, spirit and nature, religion and science by explaining 
that determinism in the effect is quite consistent with indeter- 
minism in the cause. The ever-puzzling doctrine of Maya or the 
theory that the world is an illusion is here given an intelligible 



by R. P. MASANI, m.a. Cr. Svo. 6s. 

“It serves a useful purpose in providing a concise popular and 
instructive exposition of the Zoroastrian religion both as it was 
in the time of its founder an(^s it is practised to-day ." — Inquirer